BELTON, Texas – A 100-year-old tradition in Belton is still happening this Fourth of July, but it will be a big different since it will take place online.
Area residents have taken it upon themselves to make their own Fourth of July parade happen in real life.
“I was actually kind of upset about it. I was like, you know with everything going on, we need normalcy,” said Stephanie Griffith, organizer of the Fourth of July Citizens Parade.
Stephanie has been attending the parade with her family for years. She decided to create the Citizens Parade event to keep the tradition alive.
“My husband’s family has been going to it since its beginning for more than a hundred years, and it’s like, you know, why is this going to be the year that the tradition is not continued? So if the Belton Chamber of Commerce wasn’t going to do it, then why not do it the way it was started? By the citizens of Belton,” said Griffith.
To continue on that tradition, the parade will go down N Main Street and turn left on East Central Avenue. No streets will be closed, and everyone needs to abide by all traffic laws. The Belton Police Department will be in the area if anyone needs help.
“It’s our tradition. It’s celebrating our country. And honestly, that’s what we need to do. We need to come together to celebrate,” said Griffith.
The City of Belton issued a statement to FOX44 on the Fourth of July Citizens Parade:
“Our preference is for people to support the virtual parade hosted by the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce and it’s sponsors. That should be the first consideration for people. We are aware of multiple parades that are planned in Belton on the Fourth of July, including an internal neighborhood parade organized by a homeowners association and a citizens parade along the traditional route. We wish our traditional parade could take place. It is such a great tradition, but caution in the middle of a global pandemic is appropriate. A parade organized by citizens, where traffic laws are followed, is an option that appeals to some people. We don’t have concerns about patriotic looking cars driving down any street in town. It really is similar to a convoy of cars headed out of town together to attend a high school football game. Honk and wave if you see them on the Fourth!”– City of Belton
Stephanie says as long as everyone takes care of themselves, wearing face coverings and staying six feet apart, everyone should be okay.
“You have options. You can be a part of the parade. There’s no fees, no registration, just decorate your vehicle and you can be in the parade in your own little area – not in front of anybody or around anybody. And so, you are perfectly safe and as long as you abide by all traffic laws. That’s all that matters. And you can be a part of this and celebrate our country without having to worry about getting sick,” said Griffith.
The invitation to participate or just watch is open to anyone.