The legend of the seven-foot tall chair that would mysteriously appear along the parade route for Catonsville's Fourth of July parade dates back to 2006.
As Catonsville Manor residents Tony and Patti Adams Cavey tell it, the idea came about in the summer of 2006. A violent series of summer storms had torn through the area before the parade when many to reserve space. Many of the chairs were damaged and strewn about after the storm, leaving Frederick Road a mess.
The lifelong residents, who remember attending the parade as children, were sitting with friends at the , remarking about how out-of-control the practice had gotten of using the chairs to reserve parade seats weeks ahead of the parade.
So an idea was hatched to make a over-sized chair to put out on the route with a sign that said 'reserved' on it. Tony and his daughter worked for about a week to construct the chair, which was made out of PVC pipe, rip-stop nylon and wood.
At midnight on July 4, 2006, the couple and some friends placed the chair outside of . They chained the chair to the ground, snapped a few photos and went back to the bar.
But by 2 a.m. when a friend drove by the spot where the chair had been left, it had been taken.
Observed Patti: "We're never going to see that chair again."
But the chair did re-appear, on July 4, 2007, at the same spot where it had disappeared from the year before.
The Caveys were so shocked to see it that they took turns guarding the chair most of the day, expecting the thief to come forward.
But instead of grabbing their chair immediately after the parade, the Caveys left it—which was enough of a window for it to disappear again.
In 2008, the chair was back again but not in 2009. In 2010, the chair re-appeared and this time, and the Caveys whisked it off right away.
It came back to them in pretty tattered shape and the Caveys didn't plan to bring it out of their basement again.
"There's some people in Catonsville who have claimed ownership of this chair and we don't know who they are," Patti said.
The couple went back to work re-doing the nylon in patriotic colors, installing a cupholder and an over-sized drink for added effect.
The contest was created as a fund-raiser for the parade last year, which called for the that depicted the spirit of the parade in Catonsville.
The winner is chosen by the largest number of votes or financial donations that are received. Starting next week, people will be able to vote on the website. Last year's winner was a chair by
So far, the Caveys are the only entrants posted online, but organizer Betsy Merena said that more chairs will be on display at Frederick Road Fridays.
The Caveys will bring their chair to and will be guarding it closely.
Said Tony: "It's sculpture. It's art."