Food, games, music planned for Funtastic Fourth

Preparations for this year's Funtastic Fourth downtown celebration are starting to pick up steam.The 11th annual event, sponsored by the Downtown Revitalization Association in conjunction with Alon USA/Alon Brands, will be held June 28-29 on Scurry and Main streets between Third and Second, organizers said.There will be food, vendor booths, games and children's rides aplenty, but most of all, there will be music — lots and lots of music.Allen Johnson and Christy Brorman, two of the event's organizers, said several music acts are lined up for the two-day festival.Opening night acts include the Tejano band Extremo, rock group Mad Mexicans and country/western singer Dale Castillo.Second-day music will be be heavily country flavored — among the acts committed to perform are Clayton Adams, Forgotten Road, Matt Kimbrow, Adrian Calvio and headliner Mark McKinney.Away from the stage, children's attractions will include a train ride, air-powered “bouncy houses” and a rock wall suitable for climbing.In addition, upward to 125 vendors selling a variety of food and gift items are expected. To reserve booth space, call Linda Burchett at 816-9381.Johnson promises this year's festival will offer more to visitors than past events.“There's a lot of excitement going on in this area right now and because of that, we wanted to make (the event) bigger and better this year,” he said. “We're trying to get people excited about the downtown area, and this seems like the perfect opportunity to showcase it.”Several sponsors, including Alon, Super Rod and United Rental, are already on board for this year's festival, but Brorman said more were needed. Persons interested in sponsoring Funtastic Fourth should contact Brorman at 432-466-2268.Also, volunteers will be needed. Interested persons should call Johnson at 267-6278.