COPPERAS COVE — Sunshine and warm temperatures greeted hundreds of people who came to the opening day of the 39th annual Rabbit Fest in Copperas Cove.

The annual event kicked of Thursday evening and continued Friday.

“It’s going fabulous,” Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce president Alicia Menard said after the opening ceremony for the event, pointing to a line of cars trying to get in to Copperas Cove City Park. “We’ve got a line of traffic on a Thursday, and that is awesome.”

The opening of the four-day event featured a proclamation read by Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Yancey, recognition of veterans, and the ringing of a large blue and yellow bell by Mayor-elect Bradi Diaz and a giant rabbit — or, at least, someone in a rabbit costume.

Rabbit Fest will be open Friday until 11 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Individuals who walk in pay $1. Those who drive in pay $5 a carload. Festival admission must be paid for with cash; no debit or credit cards will be accepted at the gate.

Menard wanted to make sure that those who drive in know that their $5 allows them access to the festival for the entire weekend.

“Once you purchase that $5 can come and go as you please. It’s a weekend parking pass,” Menard said.

Rabbit Fest included a variety of events and activities. In addition to carnival rides and games, there is a variety of food and drink, as well as live music and booths containing vendors and crafts.

The annual Rabbit Fest parade will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, winding it’s way from Copperas Cove High School down Avenue D into downtown.

“We have right around 35 to 40 parade entries. We will be handing out some awards and recognitions (for different entries),” Menard said.

Unlimited ride wristbands are available for purchase for $30 today and tomorrow.

As for the threat of rain in the forecast, Menard said events and performances will go on rain or shine.

“Please don’t let the rain keep you away,” Menard said. “We will definitely make whatever adjustments we have to...but it’s definitely not going to shut this place down.”

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