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All In Good Fun | Community celebrates National Parks & Recs Month

 By Melany Cox

 Journal Reporter

July is National Parks and Recreation month, and on Saturday members of the community braved the heat to celebrate.

 The Belton Parks and Recreation Department hosted National Parks and Recreation Celebration Day. Matt Bates, Recreation Coordinator, said the purpose of National Parks and Recreation Month is to “make people aware to get out, have fun and to use your local parks.”

The event took place at Chisholm Trail Park in Belton. Several community businesses, organizations and teams participated in the festivities. The celebration featured softball and kickball games, a mini volleyball tournament and a washers tournament. Shaved ice and refreshments were provided by Sno-to-Go.

 “The purpose of today was to bring people out to one of our parks and have a series of mini sporting events,” Bates said.

 Families came and went throughout the morning, seeking refuge in the shade. Though temperatures were in the upper 90s and the sun was glaring, the teams gave their all.

The events began at 9 a.m. with the first of the softball and kickball games. The Belton Fire Department faced off against the Belton Police Department in softball. The fire department won the game, 28-2.

Fire Chief Francisco Corona participated in the game. He said he thought the event was “a good idea.” Sara Trevino, Fire Department Secretary, helped organize the team and posted fliers in the department.

 In kickball, Grand Avenue Theatre beat the Longhorns, a local team.

 At 10 a.m. the softball and kickball games continued and the mini volleyball tournament began. In kickball, Belton Christian Youth Center beat Hope for the Hungry. In softball, Belton Youth Softball Association coaches and parents faced off against each other.

 Four teams competed in the mini volleyball tournament. The teams were City of Belton, Spike-edelics, BCYC and Spike It Like It’s Hot. The tournament concluded around 12:30 p.m. when BCYC claimed first place.

 The Spike-edelics said they heard about the event through Matt Bates. The team captain, Heather Bates, is Matt’s wife. She helped organize the team by starting a sign-up sheet at work.

 The celebration concluded with the washers tournament. Gabriel Jasso and Jon Acuna took first place. Zach Pickelman and Mike Donlon finished second.

 Despite the heat, National Parks and Recreation Celebration Day reminded families that Belton’s parks can be enjoyed throughout the year.