TEXAS, USA — Food, fun and fireworks are surely on most everyone's list for this weekend to celebrate America's 245th birthday and commemorate the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
With Independence Day less than a week away and July 4 falling on a Sunday this year, many celebrations are happening in the days leading up to the Fourth of July. If you're still wondering which celebration you would like to attend, here's a list of events in the area to help you make plans.
JULY 1 TO JULY 3
The Fourth of July PRCA Rodeo at the Bell County Expo Center from July 1-3 will continue Bell County’s Independence Day celebration. The rodeo runs from 6-9 p.m. for the three days with mutton bustin’ at 7 p.m. each day. Check out each night’s theme and purchase tickets at the Bell County Expo’s website.
The Central Texas military post is celebrating the holiday on Saturday this year. Festivities include activities, food, fireworks and entertainment. Entertainment includes LOCASH, DJ J. Dayz, Taylor Williamson and Miss American Camille Schrier. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. with activities kicking off at 4 p.m. The event will be held at Hood Stadium on post.
An installation access pass is required for entry and those looking to attend should stop by the Marvin Leath Visitor’s Welcome Center, TJ Mills Blvd. Building 69012, for a pass. A shuttle service will be available from 3-11 p.m. with stops at:
- Phantom Warrior Lanes Parking Lot, Bldg. 49010
- Commissary, Bldg. 50001
- Community Events and Bingo Center, Bldg. 50012
Riders must be 18 to ride on the bus without an adult. Shuttles will depart every 15 minutes.
The Temple Independence Day Parade will start at 9 a.m. along 9th Street from French Street to Nugent Avenue. The parade will include representatives from the Temple fire and police departments, kids and adults in their best patriotic outfits and more.
The Belton Chamber of Commerce is celebrating Independence Day with a parade, patriotic program and festival on Nolan Creek. The day will start with the patriotic program at the Bell County Courthouse at 9 a.m. and is immediately followed by a parade at 10 a.m. The parade route runs south on Main Street (FM 317) from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to the Bell County Courthouse, then east on Central Avenue to the Belton Police Memorial. After the parade, the Festival at Nolan Creek will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Yettie Polk Park.
The City of Valley Mills is hosting its annual Fourth of July Fireworks show on Saturday. The fireworks show begins 30 minutes after dark at the Valley Mills Little League Fields along Highway 6, near the elementary school. Before that, however, the celebration begins at 9 a.m. at Santa Fe Park with food trucks, vendors, games and more, including the city's annual Little Miss Firecracker and Mr. 4th of July pageant.
The City of Marlin is hosting its holiday celebration at City Park in Marlin. The celebration will include vendors, food trucks, a classic car show, live music, fireworks and much more. Kids will be able to participate in a youth fishing tournament and enjoy other kid-friendly events. The celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The annual event will be at Touchdown Alley, next to McLane Stadium, with gates opening at 6 p.m. The fireworks show kicks off at 9:15 p.m. Food trucks will be on site so attendees can purchase food and drinks. Coolers with drinks and snacks are allowed. Dirty Dozen Brass Band will provide entertainment starting at 7:30 p.m. followed by the fireworks show accompanied by the Waco Community Band.
The 23rd annual event will be held at Crossroads Park in Temple with fireworks starting at 9:30 p.m. Families can bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets to enjoy the show. Vendors will all be available for families to purchase food, drinks and more starting at 4 p.m.
Belton’s Fourth of July celebration continues with a concert at First Baptist Church, 506 N. Main Street, starting at 3 p.m. The concert is followed by a Backyard Party at Schoepf’s, 702 E. Central Ave., with a free concert featuring Sprung. Gates to the concert open at 6 p.m. with the band performing at 7 p.m. Fireworks will follow the show at Schoepf’s.
The Rockdale Chamber of Commerce is hosting a county-wide July 4 celebration featuring fireworks and more. The fireworks will begin around dusk at Fair Park in Rockdale. Food, vendors and entertainment will be available from 6-10 p.m. Patriotic music will be provided by Communities in Concert Band.