By Kevin M. Smith
Killeen Daily Herald
The annual Celebrate Killeen Festival is less than a month away, and event organizers said they are almost ready for the celebration to begin.
Members of the Celebrate Killeen Committee listed events and firmed up details during a meeting Wednesday morning.
The celebration on April 25 and 26 will be primarily at the Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd., and include a concert, outdoor movie, synthetic ice skating, fun run, car show, softball and golf tournaments, arts and crafts for children and a children's fun zone.
Organizers put a strong emphasis on safety, saying they want event-goers who park across the street to take the Andy K. Wells Hike and Bike Trail under the W.S. Young Drive bridge rather than crossing the street.
"The goal is for no one to walk across the road," said Raymond Perez, committee member.
He said there will be extra police officers working to help with traffic.
"W.S. Young cannot be closed," Perez said. "It's a major thoroughfare."
The first event of the weekend will be a concert by HOTWAX, a classic rock and soul band from Austin.
The band's Web site, www.hotwax.org, states that the band stands out from others by its showmanship. The band includes choreography and costuming to add to the musical entertainment.
"We put on a show," said Rudy Williams, the band's manager. "We try to emulate the power and the enthusiasm of those '60s shows that used to occur when several of those great bands came together."
He likened the band's music to Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and The Temptations, among others.
"Nobody does (Franklin's) 'Say a Little Prayer' or 'Ain't No Way,' or songs like that anymore," Williams said.
The band will perform from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday at the amphitheater east of the Killeen Community Center.
"It's really a dynamic show," Williams said.
The first event Saturday is a 5K fun run at 8 a.m. at the Community Center. Registration is $15 on or before April 23 and $20 after April 23. A registration form is available on the city's Web site at www.ci.killeen.tx.us and at the Community Center. Race-day registration begins at 7 a.m.
Other events begin at 10 a.m. with a car and bike show. Cat Customs, of Killeen, is hosting the show. It is open for anybody to enter their vehicle. A registration form is available at the shop at 907 N. Eighth St. and at the event on the Andy K. Wells Hike and Bike Trail behind the Community Center.
In addition to the other activities planned, the committee discussed renting a mechanical bull.
Phyllis Jones, committee member, is organizing a step competition performed by students from local schools at the amphitheater. So far, Jones has six step teams signed up.
"It's a repetition of movement," said Jones, describing step.
She said she has other performances scheduled throughout the day at the amphitheater, including the "Tootie Tot" dance by a pre-kindergarten group and a first-grade student playing the drums.
At dusk at the amphitheater, festival-goers can watch "Transformers."
The lone event on Sunday is a golf tournament at Stonetree Golf Club in Killeen. The four-person scramble begins at 1 p.m. with a shotgun start. The fee is $260 per team. Perez said the registration covers the cost to run the tournament.
"We're not trying to make any money," Perez said.
However, top finishers can make money. The first-place team receives $400, and second place receives $300.
For more information on the golf tournament, call Stonetree at (254) 699-6034.
Benton Goodnight, committee chair, said he expects a large crowd this year for the festival.
"As far as participation, I'm not sure it won't be as big as last year," Goodnight said.
Last year's event was at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center and occurred in conjunction with the annual rodeo to celebrate the city's 125th anniversary.
Goodnight said people who go in previous years usually return.
"More people know about the Celebrate Killeen Festival every year," Goodnight said.
The committee is still seeking sponsors for the event.
For more information about the Celebrate Killeen Festival, call the Killeen Parks and Recreation Department at (254) 501-8838.