Belton knows how to throw a birthday party for America. The celebration starts with a barbecue at Yettie Polk Park on Wednesday, June 30, followed by Rodeo Belton at the Bell County Expo Center July 1-3; a carnival runs concurrently at Confederate Park. A patriotic program on the steps of the Bell County Courthouse the morning of July 3 precedes a traditional holiday downtown parade, which dates to 1919 and has been honored by USA Today as one of the nation’s “Top Ten Places to Fly Your Flag on the 4th.” Also, on Saturday at Yettie Polk Park, the Festival on Nolan Creek hosts vendors and live entertainment, including a Texas Old-Time Fiddlers Contest. Festivities conclude Sunday, July 4, with a God & Country concert at First Baptist Church. Call the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce at 254/939-3551; www.beltonchamber.com and www.rodeobelton.com.