Special to the Journal
The Belton Area Chamber of Commerce announced that the Grand Marshals of the Belton 4th of July Parade this year will be Terri Covington representing the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce, Wayne Carpenter representing the City of Belton, and Joe Shepperd representing Belton Economic Development Corporation.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Better Together” so these three individuals and the organizations they represent were selected as they collectively represent the way working together has helped our community thrive. We are seeing the effects of long-term visionary leadership and planning as our community has grown.
“Strong working relationships between organizations are not something that we can take for granted but happen when there is a commitment to working together to help our community grow,” stated Randy Pittenger, Belton Area Chamber President/CEO. “We are thrilled to honor these organizations and individuals with this opportunity to serve as Grand Marshals for the 4th of July Parade. They exemplify the spirit of our community and represent the theme of our parade this year.”
Covington, Carpenter, and Shepperd have long held leadership positions in our community. Each has consistently demonstrated a commitment to servant leadership through their respective organizations.
Terri Covington is a successful and well-respected business leader with Covington Real Estate who has been an active community volunteer, serving on numerous boards and advisory committees, as well as several terms on the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She served as Chamber Board Chair during 2020, an unusually difficult year for local businesses, the Chamber, and our community as we navigated the challenges of pandemic restrictions. Covington is a consistent voice for the importance of everyone doing their part and working together for the greater good.
Wayne Carpenter has distinguished himself through a lifetime of community service. He has served multiple terms on the Belton City Council, and as Mayor from 2020 to 2023. Carpenter had a long and successful career as a public school educator, serving as a teacher, principal, and administrator for Belton ISD, influencing countless students into a life of community service. He practices what he taught, consistently advocating for all members of our community to have a voice and be involved in making our community better for everyone.
Joe Shepperd is a Belton native who has been actively involved in community service through a variety of avenues, including the Belton ISD Board of Trustees and most recently on the Tax Appraisal District of Bell County Board of Directors. He served on the Belton Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors 2009-2023, and as Chairman 2017-2023. During his tenure, BEDC helped spur significant growth in our business community, with the Imagine Belton initiative providing a vision for the future of Belton. Shepperd is a visionary leader who advocates for strategic business growth.
“These three individuals represent important entities in our community that work together to enhance the economic health and quality of life for our citizens,” added Pittenger. “The recent successful economic expansion in the Belton community is the result of a coordinated effort to promote and manage growth. We are better together as demonstrated by the servant leadership of Terri Covington, Wayne Carpenter, and Joe Shepperd.”
The annual parade serves as the centerpiece of a celebration in Belton that will start with a Downtown Street Party on the Courthouse Square on Saturday, June 24.
This week leading up to July 4th will be full of festivities, including a Carnival in Liberty Park, and the 99th annual PRCA Rodeo at the Bell County Expo. Tuesday, July 4 will begin with the Patriotic Program, Parade (starting at 9:00 a.m. this year), and Festival on Nolan Creek featuring the High5 Hot Dog Eating Contest, 1st Cavalry Band from Fort Cavazos and the inaugural Rev, White & Blue Car Show, then finish the day with the Backyard Party at Schoepf’s Concert and Fireworks, featuring the popular band with roots in Belton, Sprung, returning for an encore performance prior to the fireworks show. This is a non-ticketed event, open to the public, although reserved tables are available.
For more information about these events, visit the website at www.beltonchamber.com, call 254-939-3551, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.