By Anthony Scott
Killeen Daily Herald
The first Texas Independence Day Celebration in Killeen is drawing near and will honor Texas, its history and the cultures within its borders.
The event is being organized on a bare-bones budget by Councilman Larry Cole and the Multi-Educational Cross-Cultural Arts Association (MECCA) and could eventually draw more people to downtown Killeen.
"I'm a proponent of downtown revitalization," Cole said. "As part of downtown revitalization, I wanted to bring festival-type, street events on a regular basis with different themes."
The celebration features music, dance, literature, art, crafts and foods. It runs from Feb. 25 to March 2 and will be hosted at a variety of venues.
"Basically, the event is to celebrate Texas Independence Day," said Daniel Kott, director of MECCA. "We've never celebrated (it) in Killeen. We've celebrated a lot of things, but this is the first Texas Independence Day celebration."
Kott said the organization is working alongside Cole to put the event together and will add much of the music, dance, history and culture presentations to the events.
"I got to thinking that the one thing we don't do is to celebrate Texas," Cole said. "We
celebrate other ethnic holidays and festivities and recognize them, like Cinco de Mayo, Hispanic History Month, Black History Month and all of these things."
Cole said the event could be one of many ways to draw people downtown. The city is also going to implement a streetscaping program to make it more appealing in spring.
"It brings people downtown so they can see what the possibilities are, and if we can bring people down on a continual basis then people will invest in shops or small restaurants or small businesses down there where we can bring in a traffic flow of several thousand people on any given Saturday," he said.