Waving to the crowd

Participants travel down Main Street during the annual Fourth of July parade in Belton in 2019.

Last year, Independence Day celebrations looked a little different, but this year the Central Texas-area is back to near-normal with its annual events to commemorate the holiday. Gather this weekend to observe a parade, be dazzled by fireworks, and have some fun with friends and family. Read on for more details.

Local Events

The Fort Hood Memorial Remembrance Boot Display will be available for observance from sunrise to sunset July 1-6 at Sadowski Parade Field in front of III Corps Headquarters, 1001 761st Tank Battalion Ave., Fort Hood. This display is free and open to all.

The PRCA Rodeo will be at 7 p.m. July 1-3 at the Bell County Expo Center, 301 W. Loop 121, Belton. Tickets range from $14 to $20. Go to www.bellcountyexpo.com to purchase tickets and to view a full schedule of events.

The Fort Hood Independence Day Celebration will be from 4 to 10 p.m. July 2 at Hood Stadium. There will be entertainment, activities, food, a firework show, and more. The entertainment lineup will include LoCash, DJ J. Dayz, comedian Taylor Williamson, and Miss America Camille Schrier. This event is free and open to all but requires an access pass for non-military visitors. There will be shuttle bus services running from 3 to 11 p.m. to and from Phantom Warrior Lanes Parking Lot, the Clear Creek Commissary, and the Community Events and Bingo Center.

Downtown Temple’s First Friday event will be from 5 to 9 p.m. July 2. There will be live music, late-night shopping, food, and more available at various businesses around the downtown Temple area. Go to www.downtowntemple.com/first-friday for more information on specials and a schedule of events.

The Belton Fourth of July Celebration will begin at 9 a.m. July 3 with a Patriotic Program at the Bell County Courthouse, 101 E. Central Ave., followed by the parade starting at 10th Avenue and Main Street and ending at Birdwell Street. The Festival on Nolan Creek will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 3 at Yettie Polk Park, 101 S. Davis St. The God and Country Concert will be at 3 p.m. at the Belton First Baptist Church, 506 N. Main St., July 4. Festivities continue with a Backyard Party, featuring a free concert by Sprung and firework show, at 7 p.m. July 4 at Schoepf’s Barbecue, 702 E. Central Ave.

Bear Jones, a local event organizer, has organized an event, which is scheduled to begin at noon Saturday at Farris Wheel Ranch, 13682 Maxdale Road, Killeen. The event will not feature fireworks, however. Instead, the event will feature food trucks, “family fun” vendors and live bands. Live bands include Sandra Hawkins (formerly Black Diamond), Royce Montgomery, Michael Carubelli, Distinguished Soundz, and Lance Wade Thomas. The concert begins at 5:30 p.m. There is no projected end time. Tickets — which can be purchased online or at the gate — for ages 14 and older are $15, tickets for ages 7 to 13 are $10, and children 6 and under get in free. Ticket information may be found on Facebook at @ownthestage1. On June 22, the Killeen City Council turned down Jones’ request to put on a fireworks show on July 3 in the city, citing security and timing issues.

VFW Post 9192 is having a brisket cookoff at the post on Sunday, 301 Wolf St. The public is invited to come out to the cookoff.

The event is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and is scheduled to end at 10 p.m.

The Temple Historic District will host its 32nd annual community parade, which is open to the public to watch or participate in, at 9 a.m. July 3 at the intersection of North Ninth Street and West French Avenue. The parade will go down Ninth Street until it meets the intersection with West Nugent Avenue.

The Family Fun Independence Day event will be from noon to 10 p.m. July 3 at Farris Wheel Ranch,13682 Maxdale Road, Killeen. There will be music performances by artists from multiple genres to include Sandra Hawkins, Royce Montgomery, Michael Carubelli,Distinguished Soundz, and headliner Lance Wade Thomas. There will also be food vendors available. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for kids ages 7- 13, and free for kids 6 and under. Go to https://bit.ly/3y7BUaU to purchase in advance.

Cove Life Church is hosting its inaugural Fourth of July Celebration from 7 to 10 p.m. July 4 at Copperas Cove City Park, 1206 W. Avenue B. There will be music, food, family fun, and a firework show at this free event. The first 100 people to register online will receive a $10 coupon from food vendors during the event. Go to https://bit.ly/3dAgA6l for more information.

The 23rd annual H-E-B Family Fun Fest and Fireworks Show will be July 4 at Crossroads Park, 1020 Research Parkway, Temple. The park will open at 4 p.m. for food vendors and family fun, live music by the Cap City Band will be at 7 p.m., and fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m. Bring chairs and blankets to this free event.

Central Texas College is hosting a CTC Live! Veterans Services event from 10 to 11 a.m. July 8. This event will focus on military education benefits and how to apply them. Register for free at https://ctc4.me/veteran-info.

The annual Lampasas Spring Ho event returns this year from July 5-11. This weeklong, city-wide celebration will feature a carnival, grand parade, live music, family-friendly entertainment, shopping, fireworks, and much more. Go to https://springho.com/schedule/ for a full schedule of events broken down by day.

Stonetree Golf Club, 1600 Stonetree Drive, Killeen, hosts its Beer and Nine event every Thursday. For $20 per person, this event includes nine holes with a free beer of choice, two-person scramble, and shotgun at 5 p.m. Call 254-501-6575 for more information.

Workforce Solutions of Central Texas hosts a variety of virtual, interactive, and recurring webinars every week. These free webinars focus on tips to improve resumés, the job application process, soft skills, interviewing, and more. Go to the Facebook page for a full listing of events and more information, https://www.facebook.com/WorkforceSolutionsCentralTexas/.

The Mayborn Science Theater at Central Texas College features a variety of laser shows, movies, and other events based on astronomy. For show descriptions, a full schedule, and ticket prices go to www.starsatnight.org or call 254-526-1800.

Family Fun

The Beltonian Theatre, 219 E. Central Ave., Belton, is hosting a free showing of the movie “Friday Night Lights” at 2 p.m. July 4. This event partners with the Bell County Museum’s “Bell County Sports” exhibit. Seats are first come, first serve.

Operation Little Learners, a free interactive parent-child class for active-duty military personnel, is every Thursday at ASYMCA Killeen, 100 E. Beeline Lane, Harker Heights. Classes for ages 18 months to 2 years are from 9 to 10 a.m., kids 2 to 3 are from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., and ages 4 to 5 are from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Activities include story time, music, learning, arts and crafts, snacks, and more.

The Harker Heights Public Library, 400 Indian Trail, is hosting The Summer Reading Club now through Aug. 14 with both online and in-person activities and events. Go to http://harkerheights.readsquared.com to sign up. The library also posts a variety of livestreams, children’s programs, story times, crafts, and other activities throughout the week on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/harkerheightspubliclibrary/. The Virtual Book Discussion Club is at 6:30 p.m. every third Thursday of the month. Email lyoungblood@harkerheights.gov for access to the link to join. The library is also accepting donations for the Pet Supplies Donation Drive to benefit the Harker Heights Pet Adoption Center. Supplies like leashes, collars, towels, and cat and dog food will be accepted through July 24.

The Killeen Public Library is hosting a Summer Reading Club for all ages. Sign up at https://bit.ly/3ci75YC for adults, https://bit.ly/2S6NGmK for kids, and https://bit.ly/3wS5lgG for teens. The library also hosts virtual story times, family-friendly activities, and crafts throughout the week on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KilleenLibrary/.

The Last Drive-In Picture Show, 2912 S. Highway 36, Gatesville, hosts a double-feature movie every night of the week. This week’s lineup, showing nightly from July 2- 7, will be “Peter Rabbit 2” at 8:45 p.m. and “Fast and Furious 9” at 10:15 p.m. Admission is $10 per car.

Sweet Eats Fruit Farm, 14400 E. State Highway 29, Georgetown, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting, as part of its Sunflower Festival through July 18. General admission is $12.99 per person. Visit www.sweeteats.com for a full list of activities and to purchase tickets in advance.

Local Music

Johnny’s Outback, 301 Thomas Arnold Road, Salado, is hosting a concert by The Oak Ridge Boys with doors opening at 6 p.m. and music starting at 7:45 p.m. July 3. General admission is $30 in advance and $35 the day of the show, lawn seats are $50, and table reservations for six range from $500 to $750 depending on location. Go to www.outhousetickets.com to purchase in advance.

Bo’s Barn Dance Hall and Club is hosting live music by Craig Howell and Somewhere in Texas from 8 p.m. to midnight July 2. Cover: $10. People’s Choice will perform from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. July 3. Cover: $10. The dance hall is at 4984 W. Farm-to-Market 93, Temple. Catch karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m. every Thursday. Happy Hour is from 5 to 10 p.m. every Thursday, and 5 to 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. Check out a free dance lesson from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every first Thursday of the month. For more information, go to www.bosbarndancehall.com, or call 254-939-7131.

Fire Street Pizza, 10310 Farm-to-Market 439 in Belton, is hosting free live music by The Storms I from 6 to 9 p.m. July 2.

Chupacabra Craft Beer and Salado Lonestar Winery, 401 S. Main St. in Salado, hosts free live music featuring a local artist from 7 to 11 p.m. every Friday and 8 p.m. to midnight every Saturday. Chupacabra also hosts a Pint Night with free live music starting at 4 p.m. every Thursday and a Trivia Night with a chance to win free prizes from 7 to 9 p.m. every Monday.

Fire Base Brewing Company, 8 S. First St., Temple, is hosting free live music by Cade Baccusand The Sawdust Stompersfrom 6 to 9 p.m. July 2.

Barrow Brewing Company, 108 Royal St., Salado, will host free live music by Eric Turner at 7 p.m. July 2 and The Hot Pickin’ 57’s at 7:30 p.m. July 3. Barrow also hosts Open Mic in the Taproom with Dustin Brown every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. Every Wednesday is Vinyl Night and guests are invited to bring their favorite vinyl albums to listen to. The Summer Lecture Series will continue with guest Father Bill Miller, author of “The Beer Drinker’s Guide to God,” at 2 p.m. July 4.

The 3 Texans Winery and Vineyard, 7536 Farm-to-Market 2409, Temple, is hosting live music by Amanda Brown from 2 to 5 p.m. July 3 and Megan Brucker from noon to 3 p.m. July 4.

Farmers Markets

The City of Harker Heights Farmers Market will be every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at Harker Heights City Hall, 305 Miller’s Crossing. There will be a variety of products, baked goods, hand-crafted items, and more available for purchase. This week, the market will celebrate Independence Day with decorated booths and special products.

The Killeen Farmers Market will be from 3 to 6 p.m. every Tuesday atthe Rosa Hereford Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd., weather permitting. Local farmers, bakers, and specialty product makers will be selling their goods. Vendors interested in participating are encouraged to call 254-501-6390 or email yvalderrama-santana@killeentexas.gov.

The Temple Farmers Market is from 7 a.m. to noon every Tuesday and Thursday at West Temple Park, 121 Montpark Road. For vendor information, contact Daniel Lara at 254-624-4718.

The Copperas Cove Farmers Market will be from 4 to 7 p.m. every Thursday on the corner of Avenue D and Second Street. Interested vendors should go to https://www.copperascovetx.gov/parks/farmers_market/ to sign up.

The Farmers Market at Barrow Brewing Company, 108 Royal St., Salado, is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday. There will be local produce, handmade goods, crafters, makers, and food trucks at this event.

Museums and Exhibits

The Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum, 315 W. Avenue B, is presenting a special exhibition, “One Half the People: Advancing Equality for Women,” through Aug. 18 which features a history of women’s suffrage, fight for equality, and profiles of significant women. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Every first Saturday of the month, the museum hosts a free, themed Family Day. This month’s theme is “Independence Family Day” and will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 3. Go towww.templerrhm.org for more information. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for kids ages 5 to 12, and free for children under 5.

The Bell County Museum, 201 N. Main St. in Belton, is hosting a Summer Fun for Early Learners event from 10 a.m. to noon July 6-9. Kids 6 and younger are invited to the museum to enjoy the exhibits, educational activities, and crafts centering on a different theme each day. This event is free and does not require registration. The museumis open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information call 254-933-5243. Admission is free.

The Mayborn Museum at Baylor University, 1300 S. University Parks Drive, Waco, is open for in-person visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $6 for kids 12 and under.

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, 100 Texas Ranger Trail in Waco, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and military, $4 for kids 6 to 12, and kids under 6 are free.Go towww.texasranger.org for more information.

The Lampasas County Museum, 303 S. Western Ave., is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Call 512-556-2224 for more information.

254-501-7557 | bsodic@kdhnews.com

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