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Bandera prepares for Independence Day celebrations

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The Fourth of July falls on a Sunday this year, and the Cowboy Capital of the World has events planned throughout the weekend.

AAA is estimating a record-breaking 43.6 million Americans will drive over the holiday weekend, welcome news for the town’s commerce.

The Bandera County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) expects this weekend to be very busy.

“We have ample activities all around the area to interest folks, and the 4th falling on a weekend this year is extremely helpful for visitation,” said CVB Executive Director Patricia Moore. “Rather than huge events in the city, Bandera’s smaller, more downhome, authentic gatherings appeal to all people.”

A full list of activities happening in town is available at www., but here are some highlights:

Saturday, July 3

The American Legion Post 410 in Lakehills will hold their annual July 4 Weekend Celebration. The parade begins at 11 a.m. and will run down PR 37. BBQ begins at noon, and live music at the gazebo starts at 1 p.m. To submit a free marching or float entry, call Doug at 830-212-9030.

Sunday, July 4

The Great Heart Ranch will serve a free breakfast for veterans from 10 a.m. to noon. The ranch is located at 3761 Forest Trail Dr. in Bandera.

Don’t miss the 25th Annual Pet Parade at Bandera City Park. Admission is free for the event, which starts at 10 a.m. Entry into the parade is also free. Anything you can lead, ride or carry is welcomed. Registration for the parade begins at 9 a.m. Cash prizes will be awarded in various categories. Dog treats and water will be available free of charge. Gift baskets will be raffled off. After noon, entrance fees will be charged for the park.

The Twin Elm Guest Ranch will be celebrating July 4 with music, BBQ and fireworks. Plates go on sale at 7 p.m. and cost $10. Rex Allen McNeil will perform from 8 p.m. to midnight. Fireworks will begin at dark. The ranch is located at 810 FM 470 in Bandera.

The Four Way Bar and Grill in Lakehills will have foot-long hot dogs and corn dogs, in addition to live usic on Friday and Saturday. Located at 9742 FM 1283.

The Red Horse Saloon, located at 2440 Hwy 16 in Bandera, is hosting a Back yard BBQ Cook-off. Those interested in being a vendor are encouraged to stop by Boot and Saddle Saloon, attached to the Best Western Hotel, to get their form and submit their $50 payment. The event will be held from 3 p.m. to midnight and will also feature music, a cornhole tournament, a bounce house with water, and a fireworks show. Admission is $5 per person, and those under the age of 12 are free.