After finally calming down from the excitement of carnival rides, Louis Bradford, 6, patiently waited to get a white skull painted on his face.

Louis’ grandmother, Catherine Bradford, spent Saturday at the annual Celebrate Killeen festival at the Killeen Community Center.

“He likes the rides,” Bradford said. “It’s real nice. It’s a good family outing.”

Wilfred Brewster, director of volunteer services, said the city hosted the event to enhance residents’ quality of life in a safe, family-friendly and low-cost atmosphere.

“Every year we try to celebrate our heritage with cultural acts and things that reflect our diversity and yet our unity,” he said. “This is a good way.”

The three-day festival featured indoor and outdoor activities, including arts and crafts, a petting zoo, a car and bike show, a Killeen Independent School District family fitness and wellness fair and performances from various cultural acts around town.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 people attended the last day, Brewster said. “It’s been phenomenal, outstanding. We’re pleased.”

Kelli Hansen moved to the area with her husband and son in August and wanted to get to know the community more.

“As a military family, we don’t really get to get out and know the area,” she said. “Killeen’s kind of gotten a bad rep, but this is kind of showing a different side of what’s available. It’s a lot more family-friendly than I imagined it would be.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at

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