The official program began at 9:30 AM, when members of the National Sojourners raised the American Flag and provided their now famous toast to “Old Glory.” They then led those assembled in the Pledge of Allegiance. Following this moving part of the program, Gerald Garcia offered an invocation. During the program, Dan Beto, President of the Brazos Heritage Society, called on Tom McDonald to make a special presentation. Judge McDonald praised immediate Past President Nat Hilliard for her service as President from 2011 to 2013 and presented her with a plaque. He also thanked her husband, Dan Hilliard, for all he has done to advance the organization. Following the brief program, Proud Country, a local band that has played at past Independence Day celebrations, provided a variety of musical selections – from patriotic to country and western to popular standards – throughout the morning. While the music played, there was the ever popular annual children’s parade around the park; many of the children wore patriotic costumes and their bicycles and wagons were decorated in red, white, and blue. Other activities included a silent auction, games, face painting, booths and exhibits, including several vintage automobiles. The Brazos Heritage Society also had a booth to distribute programs, sell books on the history of Brazos County, and recruit new members. Lemonade, popcorn, hot dogs, and water were sold for 50 cents. In addition, members of the Society served free watermelon to those in attendance. Exhibitors included the A&M Garden Club, Brazos Bluebonnet Quilt Guild, Brazos Spinners & Weavers Guild, Brazos Valley Wearable Arts, Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, Daughters of the American Revolution, Habitat for Humanity, and Home Depot. Donors who helped make this celebration a success included: 8 Paw Studios, Academy, Brazos Glassworks, Cavender’s Boot City, The Clary House, Dent Magic, Der Wienerschnitzel No. 255, Dixie Chicken, Inc., Downtown Bryan Association, Earth Art, The Farm Patch, Mary Frances, Gifts & Gab, Jim.n.i Boutique, Kroger, Steve Miller, Homer & Beverly Myers, Old Bryan Marketplace, Saint-Gobain Norpro, Sam’s Club No. 6338, Sonic, Southern Grace, Taco Bell No. 2310, Texas Rose Boutique, and Village Foods.