By Lauren Cabral

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE - A bout of rain and hail didn't stop Rabbit Fest Friday, when plenty of people braved the mud and muck to check out everything the annual event had to offer.

Though carnival rides shut down for a short period of time, performers at the city park stage played and danced on schedule. As the sun came out after the storm, a crowd gathered to enjoyed live music, eat funnel cakes and check out vendors' wares.

Killeen resident Jamie Barnes said she and daughter Lily, 3, have come to the festival every year in "rain or shine."

"We're eating ice cream and we went to the petting zoo," Barnes, a Killeen resident, said. Lily chimed in that she liked her heart-shaped balloon, topped by a cuddly teddy bear, the most.

Nearby, a group of Lampasas High School atudents had different motivations for coming.

"(We came) to ride rides and to check out guys," said 16-year-old Brandi Lamb, who was at the festival with friends Angelica Perez and Makai Lawrence.

Vendors were hoping for a good crowd as the night progressed.

Ronald F. White of Arizona's SportsDreams USA was selling sports and celebrity memorabilia, and said he'd donate half of his proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project, a cause near to his heart.

"My daughter's husband is in the military, and he's been deployed a few times," he said. "He hasn't been injured, but other warriors have."

This is the second year White, whose daughter and grandchildren live in the area, has been at the festival. He said he was enjoying it, especially his fellow vendors.

"It's a great setting and good people," he said.

Rusty and Debra Collins were enticing visitors to sample salsa made from seasoning by Mama G's Creations. This is the first year the couple, from Combine, have participated.

"I'm hoping to do good here," Rusty said, adding the couple's goal was to sell 400-500 cans of the seasoning, which can be used to make salsa and other dishes.

"We're looking forward to some traffic."

Contact Lauren Cabral at or (254) 501-7476.

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