Big events are coming with tons of Independence Day fun for the whole family.

The annual BBQ, Bands and Bottle Rockets Fourth of July Festival kicks off at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Stephenville City Park.


The board has been working hard to ensure another successful event filled with a BBQ competition, live music, food and merchandise vendors and a Bottle Rockets kids area.


“This year we’re going with the same format and the kids area is sponsored by the Stephenville Evening Lions Club. They have provided full funding for that,” said BBB Board President Shelley Gilliland.


Gilliland encouraged all non-profit organizations to come out and volunteer to run a booth or provide their own game at the event.


“The money we make off the bracelet sales goes right back to those non-profits,” Gilliland said. “Last year we raised $7,000 and we paid 12 different non-profits. We split it between them all, so it’s a little fundraiser.”


Bracelets for the Bottle Rockets area will be $10 the day of the event and all children must have a bracelet to enter the area.


Non-profit organizations were also able to apply for the BBQ, Bands and Bottle Rockets Charity Spotlight.


“We pick one Charity Spotlight for the event and that’s who we donate funds to,” Gilliland said. “The first year we were able to donate $10,000 to Backpack Buddies and last year we were able to donate $6,000 to the Disabled American Veterans chapter here in town. The amount we pay back is not set in stone, it just depends on the sponsorships and how the event goes.”


The event will feature a juicy BBQ competition.


“There are three meat categories — chicken, pork ribs, brisket — and then a ‘Chef’s Choice’ and cash prizes for first-third on all the meats,” Gilliland said. “We have Chef’s Choice and Best in Show and there aren’t cash prizes for those, but there are awards.”

The first place winner of the BBQ competition will receive $600, second place will win $400 and third place will be awarded $200.

Some BBQ cooks may have samples for festival-goers, so don’t miss your chance to taste those yummy recipes.


Live music will be provided by Shane Watson, Shea Abshier, Buck Fuffalo, Billy Hartman, Giovannie Yanez and Mike Stanley.


The event has a new website this year where you can get all the information you need on BBQ, Bands and Bottle Rockets at http://www.stephenville4th.com.


“What I enjoy about this event is being able to provide an activity for families in Stephenville and the surrounding areas in order for them to create the same memories I grew up creating at the Family Fun Fair on the 4th of July in Stephenville,” Gilliland said. “The people who serve on this board all have direct ties to Stephenville from childhood so I really enjoy being able to give back to my son what I grew up having and we all agree that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The Texstar Ford Summer Nights Concert Series will follow BBQ, Bands and Bottle Rockets at 6 p.m. featuring Terri Hendrix, Max Stallings and Larry Joe Taylor on the Birdsong Amphitheater stage.

The annual Independence Day Celebration Parade will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday at City Park and go down Graham Street, turning onto Washington and ending at Harbin Drive.