COPPERAS COVE — The city celebrated a milestone birthday Saturday at Ogletree Gap Park with a red, white and blue, 4-by-8-foot, vanilla-chocolate cake, and cartons of vanilla ice-cream, all donated by H-E-B.

The celebration was a long way away from the years when the city depended on well water, Mayor John Hull said.

“When we began drawing water from Belton Lake that’s when we began growing,” Hull said. “The city is 135 years old and I’ve been here the whole 135 years.”

The 81-year-old mayor said the city has grown too because of locals’ attitude and openness.

“We have a huge military presence, but you can’t tell the difference, you know Cove goes as the Fort Hood goes,” Hull said. “Here everyone smiles and talks to you on the street. It’s that Texas friendliness all around.”

The city has grown more during the past five years because residents are more involved, Councilwoman Marty Smith said.

The city is already looking forward to and planning its 140th birthday party and it’s going to be big, said Betty Price, president of the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve tried hard to stay community-involved, and we think the more activities the better for our community. That’s why we’re looking for volunteers to form a committee for the 140th,” Price said.

The chamber and city are looking for anyone who wants to help plan a large-scale event, she said.

Anyone with party-planning or organizational skills, and folks who can put together slides, take pictures, tell the story of the city and those who can decorate, entertain or just want to help are welcome.

“We’re older than Killeen and we’re proud of that,” Price said. “We’re even thinking of having block parties and different events across the city and a grand finale — a big old-fashioned party downtown; even a barbecue cook-off. There’s so much we can do if we get committees and volunteers.”

To volunteer for the 140th birthday planning committee, call the chamber at 254-547-7571.

Corinne Lincoln-Pinheiro | Herald

A journalist by trade, Corinne has written for both the military and civilian populations. She has a Master's in Writing and Bachelor's in English. She is also a military spouse and her family is currently stationed at Fort Hood.

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