Fireworks explode over Miller Park during a previous H-E-B All American Family Fun Fest in Temple.

Fireworks, festivities and fun will once again converge on Bell County next week as Fourth of July events return after a year delay.

Events in Temple, Belton and other nearby communities will start once again over the next week after many activities were canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many events this year will be held on Saturday, July 3, as Independence Day falls on a Sunday.

In Temple, the city will hold its 23rd H-E-B All American Family Fun Festival & Fireworks Show that was first reworked, and later canceled, last year.

The festival will take place from 4 to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 4, at Crossroads Park, 1020 Research Parkway in west Temple.

“This is an annual tradition for many local families, and we are excited to be able to hold it this year,” city spokesman Cody Weems said. “We’re eager to celebrate Independence Day with our community. It will be a fun afternoon capped off with a spectacular fireworks display.”

This is the first time the event will be held at the park after its completion in 2020, as it was previously held at Miller Park.

The festival will include live music, food trucks and a large fireworks show that city officials said will make the event larger than those held in past years. The event will be free and open to the public, with the city hoping the venue change will allow for better parking and accessibility to the venue.

The Temple Historic District will also resume its annual activities with a community parade, now in its 32nd year, which is open to the public to watch or participate in.

Organizer Felicia Phipps said the parade will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, 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.

Phipps said everyone is encouraged to join the parade, with people able to either participate in the parade itself or watch from the sidewalk. Those interested in joining the parade will not be able to use their cars, instead they are asked to walk, ride their bikes or use wagons.

The Temple Police Department and Temple Fire & Rescue are set to be at the event as in previous years.

Belton parade returns

Belton will also resume its week of activities for the holiday this year, including its annual Fourth of July Parade that attracts thousands to the city.

The Belton parade is set to be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 3, in the city’s downtown. The parade includes a one-mile route extending south down Main Street from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to the Bell County Courthouse and then east on Central Avenue to the Belton Police Memorial.

The parade is free and open to the public, with dozens of floats from businesses and organizations around the county taking part.

A week of events will lead up to the parade including various concerts, festivals and fireworks shows.

The Belton Area Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the parade, will also conduct its downtown street party with live music, food and various activities. Similar to the parade, the party will not charge admission.

Music at the kickoff party will start at 5 p.m. at the Bell County Courthouse square, 101 E. Central Ave. in Belton.

Music at the party will include performances by the Leon River Band, Grupo Pression and Kenny Orts and the No Chance Band. This will be in addition to activities like face painting, a photo booth, a motorcycle show and axe throwing.

The party will be raising money for both Belton resident Justin Booth, who was injured in a house fire, and Habitat for Humanity.

Rodeo, festival planned

Other events include the 97th annual Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo at the Bell County Expo Center, 301 W. Loop 121 in Belton, on July 1-3. The Festival on Nolan Creek will be held at 11 a.m. on July 3 at Yettie Polk Park, 101 S. Davis St.

On Sunday, July 4, First Baptist Church in Belton, 506 N. Main St., will host its 50th annual God & Country Concert followed by the Backyard Party at Schoepf’s concert and fireworks show starting at 6 p.m. at 702 E. Central Ave.

“We are excited about bringing this event back to our community for the 4th of July Celebration,” Randy Pittenger, Belton Area Chamber president and chief executive officer, said.

Local event

Mooreville United Methodist Church will also be celebrating Independence Day from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on July 3.

The church, located at 206 FM 2643 in Chilton, will be serving a drive-through only barbecue meal at $15 per plate.