Kerens was bustling with activity Thursday, July 4 as faithful Kerenites flocked downtown in celebration of Independence Day at the city's annual Ol’ Fashioned Family Fun event.

Activities for kids and adults began at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks were launched once it was dark.

Many local families and members of the community came out to enjoy the festivities, games such as two-liter ring toss, bean bag toss, balloon pop, a cake walk and many other family-friendly activities.

A mule-drawn wagon was also roaming the streets, giving out rides to those interested.

A cakewalk featured all types of homemade sweets baked by the locals. Cakes, cookies, brownies, and many other sweet treats, filled the cakewalk table. The streets were flooded with children and families, excited kids ran around playing games with friends and taking advantage of the basketball court.

There was a concession stand, manned by Tommy Darby and Lonnie Rea, with pizza, hot dogs, chips and drinks for sale.

Tresa Darby, a member of the board for the Kerens Area Chamber of Commerce helped with concessions and enjoying the activities. There was also a snow cone stand with an impressive array of flavors available to mix and match.

Down the street at the Kerens Garden Park, the Kerens Area Chamber of Commerce held its inaugural Shrimp Boil to celebrate the holiday. The event was sponsored by many local businesses, including the Kerens Chamber of Commerce, Kerens Community Development, Kerens Grain & Elevator, Pineco Tractor, Paschal Funeral Home, Prosperity Bank, Hilliards Drug, Kerens Dental Care, P&S Pharmacy and the Powell State Bank.

The garden park was appropriately decorated with festive red, white and blue tablecloths, and decorative figures. Joyce Crawford, a Kerens Area Chamber of Commerce board member, headed up the event. She conversed with many locals and could be found preparing pretty plates of Te’Jun Texas Cajun for those who purchased a ticket. Tickets were sold in advance at City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, or by board members, but were also available for purchase at the event. The delicious smell lingered through the garden park, many people sat beneath the trees of the garden enjoying the company of others, the food and the celebration of achieving independence.

Across the street at the Kerens Ex-Student Association event building, Byron Mitchell from neighboring Goodlow, also hosted an event to celebrate the Fourth. A barbecue dinner and drinks were freely available to the public, as well as entertainment with a dance floor and disc jockey. The music was upbeat and entertaining and it was interesting to watch the DJ's performance. The event was open to anyone out on the streets of Kerens and Mitchell encouraged everyone to join him in celebrating the Fourth.

Music rang through every corner of downtown as the citizens of Kerens joined in celebration for the Fourth of July. It was a wonderful display of gracious hospitality and an opportunity for neighborly interactions amongst locals. The environment was friendly and family-friendly.

After dark people congregated around the fences of the Kerens city baseball field to watch the fireworks show. Within the field, fireworks were set up and organized in a display. The Kerens Volunteer Fire Department was there to orchestrate the display and to keep everyone safe from fire hazards and firework incidents. It was a colorful, entertaining display and was enjoyed by children and adults alike.