Family-oriented Fourth
by Chip Latcham
Jul 03, 2012 | 837 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fifty years ago, Beeville area residents were celebrating Independence Day with a barbecue meal at the American Legion Hall, followed by a dance that night at the Legion Hall with music furnished by the Coastal Bend Play Boys.

Twenty-five years ago, about 4,000 revelers attended the 10th annual Bee County Chamber of Commerce Fourth of July Festival at the coliseum. Activities included a Miss Fourth contest, outhouse races, men’s sexy legs contest and large fireworks display.

This year, we again pause to pay tribute to our nation’s founding, an amazing 236 years later, and give thanks for our freedoms as American citizens – although some may argue that they are eroding.

Wednesday’s Fourth of July celebration at the Bee County Expo Center promises to provide a just as impressive, if not better, fireworks display at its conclusion – thanks to Angel Care Ambulance Service and other sponsors. Last year about 5,000 folks attended.

Bee residents and visitors are reminded that, because of the drought, the county has banned most aerial fireworks (with sticks and fins), so that means this will be the best show in town. There is no admission or parking fee so everyone can enjoy the festivities, and one doesn’t have to drive a long distance, with kids, to witness a spectacular memory-maker.

After the grounds open at 4 p.m., event coordinator Bill Hooten encourages people to visit the vendors, including those selling foods and drinks.

Among the entertainers will be Ballet Folklorico dancers, Zumba dancers, mariachis and the Refugio-based band, No Vacancy.

At dark, or about 9 p.m., Beeville Fire Department members will oversee and ignite the fireworks display.

So, take a chair and enjoy the show. It seems that BBQ and fireworks have been the preferred way to mark the Fourth in this community for half a century, and probably much longer.

– Chip Latcham
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