On the advice of neighbors, we went to the Belton Fourth of July Festival and Parade today.
Ft. Hood has a big celebration on this day, but we’ve heard it’s overcrowded, tough to find parking, and has very little in the way of shade. Besides, the big stuff (fireworks display, Kelly Clarkson concert) wouldn’t be till evening — and we were looking for a midday trip. Belton’s parade and festival seemed perfect.
We arrived in town about 9:55 a.m. and found parking near the American Legion building for $1. It was a quick walk to Main Street and we found a spot to watch the parade. It was already growing warm by then, but light breezes helped, and the business awnings were starting to provide shade as the sun rose higher.
Rebecca had never seen a parade before, but she watched intently to see what the hubbub was about.
Her favorites were horses, vehicles with sirens, and music (and probably not in that order)… and the Ronald McDonald who waved at her…
After about 25 minutes, we realized our shade wasn’t good enough, so we headed around the corner and found shade behind a mesquite tree. We watched most of the rest of the parade from there, then headed over to Yettie Polk Park where the festival was set up, complete with food vendors, inflatables, and more. Best of all, it was right on Nolan Creek and under the shade of many large trees.
My wife and I ate barbecue brisket sandwiches while Rebecca had two pinches of bread and half a graham cracker. Most days, she eats light.
She wanted to play in the inflatables, but wasn’t old enough or big enough. That really upset her; one of them was the same color scheme as an inflatable she’d seen on TV; it was clear that she recognized it.
I convinced her to play in the shade under a bridge; she waved at everyone who passed by, probably convinced she was still at the parade.
The place started getting really crowded once the parade finished up and the rest of the spectators came across to the park. We listened to some music, looked at a few animals in the petting zoo, and eventually Rebecca started rubbing her eyes — time for a nap.
So we headed home. As expected, she went to sleep in the car and stayed asleep at home.
In the afternoon, we swam for about an hour at our neighborhood’s pool. In the evening, we went to Dairy Queen for ice cream after supper. Rebecca ate most of the soft serve ice cream from a small cone while Mommy had a malt and I had a Blizzard.
I forgot to mention, the day before, we’d bought a portable DVD player for the car, so Rebecca can watch movies while we’re on the go. I understand it gets incredibly boring back there. The first time she saw the movie playing (on the way to Belton this morning), she was incredulous, and kept getting Mommy’s attention and pointing to the screen, as if to say: “Did you know this was back here?” or “You’ve had this ability the whole time and have been keeping it from me?” She was very happy with it.
Here’s a picture from this morning, when Rebecca was celebrating Independence Day with her flags: