Belton ready for its 100th Fourth of July parade

BELTON — This city goes all out for Independence Day. This year, though, has an added bonus: 2019 marks the 100th Fourth of July Parade.

The Belton Area Chamber of Commerce detailed the annual Fourth of July festivities Tuesday — including a new event to start the red, white and blue festivities.

This year’s celebration will start with a downtown street party on June 29. The free event will feature live music, food trucks, as well as craft beer and wine. It replaces the kickoff barbecue lunch that was held in Yettie Polk Park.

The downtown street party will take place on Central Avenue, with a concert stage in front of the Bell County Courthouse. Among the performers are country music singer Holly Tucker, Michael Carbuelli, Jay White and the Blues Commanders, and Tejano band Grupo Pression.

“We are excited about bringing this new event to our community for the Fourth of July Celebration,” Belton Area Chamber of Commerce President Randy Pittenger said. “As we discussed plans for making this the best year ever for our annual celebration, the idea for a musical festival received a lot of enthusiastic support.”

The Fourth of July Parade is the centerpiece of a weeklong all American celebration. The parade brings an estimated 30,000 spectators to Belton, according to a news release. It starts at 10 a.m. on July 4.

“We are especially excited about celebrating ‘100 Years in Belton’ as our parade theme this year,” Pittenger said. “The parade has been such an important part of our community for generations, and the many wonderful family traditions that are celebrated make this something we can all look forward to.”

Pete Fredenburg, the coach of the two-time national champion University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Crusader football team, will serve as the grand marshal.

The Chamber is accepting applications to be in the parade until Friday. Visit rodeobelton.com to register.

Following the parade on July 4, the Chamber will host its annual Festival on Nolan Creek at Yettie Polk Park. The event features shopping, activities for children and food vendors.

The annual Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo begins July 4 and ends July 6 at the Bell County Expo Center, 301 W. Loop 121.

Tickets for the rodeo are $15 for adults, and $12 for children ages 2 to 12, seniors, and active and retired military. Tickets are available at rodeobelton.com; at the Bell County Expo Center; or by calling 512-474-5664.

To celebrate the start of the rodeo, the Chamber will host a backyard party at Schoepf’s Bar-B-Que, 702 E. Central Ave., 6-9:45 p.m. on July 4.

A carnival also will be set up at Confederate Park, 700 Confederate Park Drive, beginning July 3 through July 6.

Another new event to the extensive list of this year’s jamboree is the Penelope Street Patriot Fest, hosted by the Chamber and Bold Republican Brewing Co. The event is noon to 5 p.m. on July 6, and acts as a fundraiser to help build the National Desert Storm War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Tickets for the Penelope Street event are $20 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 12, and free for children younger than 5. The ticket includes entrance to the event, live entertainment, a commemorative cup, a hot dog from Miller’s Smokehouse and a drink. Additional food and drinks will be for sale.

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