Edgardo Petitpas firmly grasped a grocery cart as his face dripped with both sweat and rain Wednesday at Fort Hood Stadium.

Petitpas exhibited great agility as he rolled his cart down the track in the stadium against four others in a grocery bagging competition sponsored by H-E-B. Participants rushed their carts a few yards down the track to a row of groceries, where they then bagged them, turned around and raced back to the starting line.

Only a few would walk away with store credit to H-E-B, but all of them gave a whole new meaning to go-carting.

The race was one of several events at Fort Hood’s Independence Day Celebration from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday at Fort Hood Stadium, which a few hundred attended. It featured live music, food and beverage vendors and family fun. The event was to culminate with a fireworks display from 9:30 to 10 p.m.

Petitpas, a retired veteran, recently got out of the Army last September. He started his service in 2013.

“I’m just here with the family — Fourth of July,” Petitpas said. “Getting some quality time with the family and keep the spirits.

Many residents with military ties attended the celebration in spite of light rain. Among the vendors was BJ Callaway, the owner/manager of Sporty-B in Copperas Cove selling screen prints, rhinestone designs and customized items.

Callaway said she is retired from the military and has attended the annual celebration several years prior to Tuesday. While the crowd was lighter compared to years past, she still said the rain didn’t dampen the spirit of those who made it out.

“Everything’s been great. Usually it’s packed, but it’s still a lot of fun,” Callaway said.

Sunny Alds, whose son is currently deployed with the Army, said it was her first time at a Fort Hood celebration.

In the spirit of camaraderie that comes with Independence Day, she joined her daughter-in-law Wednesday so neither of the pair would be alone.

“I came to spend the time with my daughter-in-law since my son is deployed,” Alds said. “I think it’s wonderful.”

mpayne@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

mpayne@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

Herald staff writer

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