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Belton honors hometown heroes during annual Fourth of July parade

The community was reunited in person once again after a year defined by social distancing and limited gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BELTON, Texas — Editor's Note: Watch the full parade included at the bottom of the story.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Downtown Belton on Saturday, July 3 for the annual Fourth of July parade. 

After last year's parade was cancelled, many were eager to come out and celebrate the U.S., including Belton Chamber of Commerce president Terry Pittenger.

“When you do something for a hundred years and then they don’t let you do it and you miss it, it's a really big deal. Our community has turned out, people from all over the state come here for this parade and we are excited to be here,” Pittenger said.

Over 150 entries were included in this year's event. The theme was hometown heroes and included any and all who helped the community through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our educators, our healthcare workers, our grocery workers, our sanitation workers, our truck drivers who provided supplies, who kept that supply chain working. Literally every business that stayed open is a hometown hero, so we’re honoring everybody as a community, we’re just thanking everybody for their efforts in getting us through. Not just to survive the last year, but thrive as a community,” he said. 

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Those who attended the event were thankful to have the parade back in Belton where they could be reunited with the community in a large fashion. 

“Being locked in and being inside all the time, I was kind of not really great, being out here and being a part of the community that was out here, it was good to see everybody back out here and I love being part of the community like that," said Lorenzo Mendoza, a Belton native. 

The parade lasted a little over an hour and a half and featured many cars, businesses, and clubs.

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Check out this photo gallery from the parade:

Watch the full parade here: