More than 250 people attended the 25th Anniversary 4th of July celebration at Heritage Park in Bryan, Texas.
The official program began at 9:45 AM, when Nat Hilliard, President of the Brazos Historical Society, asked Gerald Garcia to offer an invocation. The invocation was followed by members of the Sojourners, who raised the American Flag, led those assembled in the Pledge of Allegiance, and then provided their now famous toast to the American Flag, our great symbol of liberty. The National Anthem was also sung.
During the program, two special presentations were made by President Hilliard. Jonathan Smith, who served as President of the Brazos Heritage Society from 2008 to 2011, was presented a plaque in recognition of his dedicated service. Also receiving a plaque was Tom McDonald, who organized the first 4th of July celebration in the Bryan Historic District 25 years ago, and who has been steadfast in promoting the history of Brazos County. He was cited for his “vision, service, leadership, and patriotism in the development of Heritage Park.”
Following the brief program, The Westernaires, a local band, provided a variety of musical selections – from patriotic to country and western to popular standards – throughout the morning.
While the music played, there was the annual children’s parade around the park; many of the children wore patriotic costumes and their bicycles and wagons were decorated in red, white, and blue. Other activities included a silent auction, games, booths, and exhibits, including a collection of vintage Studebakers and the crown from the Queen Theatre, provided by the Downtown Bryan Association.
Members of the Brazos Heritage Society served free lemonade, hot dogs, and watermelon to those in attendance.
In commenting on the success of this year’s festivities, President Hilliard noted that this would not have been possible without the help of the Society’s Executive Committee and an army of volunteers. She also recognized a number of corporate sponsors for their generous support, including Dent Magic, Wienerschnitzel #255, Saint Gobain/Norpro, the Farm Patch, Taco Bell #2310, and the Dixie Chicken, Inc.