The blazing sun was replaced by wet, muggy conditions Wednesday, but that didn’t stop thousands of Central Texans from turning out for Independence Day festivities.
Residents lined the sidewalks in Belton for the 99th rendition of the city’s Fourth of July Parade. Attendance figures were not available Thursday, but the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce anticipated 30,000 people would show up.
Residents endured the thick humidity to watch dozens of attractions saunter down Main Street.
“We were pleased with the turnout. Everything about it went well,” city of Belton spokesman Paul Romer said. “Within an hour after it was over, it was all cleaned up and streets were reopened.”
Romer said the event requires an extensive number of employees and volunteers to pull off.
“Most of the paid staff of the police department was there working, plus they have several volunteers,” Romer said. “Our fire department was staffed out and I think all of our public works and parks departments were there.”
Parade-goers were spared from rain, but showers in the afternoon and evening made for soggy fireworks shows.
Still, Temple’s annual H-E-B All-American Family Fun Fest drew about 5,000 people, Parks and Recreation spokesman Jonathan Logue said. The annual event usually brings about 6,000-8,000 to Miller Park.
Those who braved the rain were still treated to a 20-minute fireworks show, which Special Events Coordinator Holly Leiferman claimed is the largest in Central Texas. Leiferman said people started filing into the park at noon to stake out a perfect place for the show.
“Most people know to get here early in order to get a good spot for the fireworks,” she said.