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Thousands gather each July Fourth on the courthouse square to watch the parade. The Smiley Johnson Memorial Band fills the air with patriotic music. Food vendors set up under the trees and serve everything from cotton candy to homemade jerky and tacos.

Merchandise overflows with everything from toys, jewelry, handcrafted décor, custom knives, sparkling July 4th attire, and goat soap. Emcees announce parade entries as they pass by and trophies are awarded to floats, vintage cars and riding clubs.

The Turtle Race, a very popular event sponsored annually by the Hemphill County Sheriff’s Department, is staged on the courthouse parking lot. Brightly decorated contestants (no snapping turtles please) are egged on by their young trainers to be the first to cross the outer circle. Savings bonds are awarded to the three fastest racers. An Old West Gunfight Show is staged by the Spring Creek Regulators after the parade.

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