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Ella Stutz, Miniature Miss Five Hills contestant, walks the stage at the Copperas Cove Civic Center during the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant last year.

As of this past Wednesday, spring is officially here. Get out of your comfort zone with a polo match or hot air balloon ride, volunteer to clean up the community, or get messy at a crawfish boil. What better way to say goodbye to the winter blues than to go out this weekend and enjoy the start of the season with these Central Texas events?

Festivals, Events

The 2019 Copperas Cove Five Hills Scholarship Pageant will be from 1 to 10 p.m. March 23 at the Copperas Cove Civic Center, 1206 W. Avenue B. Tickets and more information are available at www.copperascovetx.gov.

Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful is hosting a Waterway Cleanup event from 9 to 11 a.m. March 23. Volunteers will meet at the library parking lot, 501 S. Main St. Breakfast, water, supplies, and t-shirts will be provided to volunteers.

The “Eat Cray Love” Spring Crawfish Boil will be from noon to 9 p.m. March 23 at Bold Republic Brewing Company, 206 N. Penelope St., Belton. Tickets are $10 for a 1-pound plate, $18 for 2 pounds, and $24 for 3 pounds, and can be purchased in advance on the event’s Eventbrite page.

The Bush’s Spring Chicken 10K, part of the Cen-Tex Race Series, will be at 8 a.m. March 23 at Fikes Wholesale Inc., 6261 Central Pointe Parkway, Temple. Registration is $35 per runner and can be completed at www.runsignup.com.

The Georgetown Hot Air Balloon Festival and Victory Cup Polo Match will be March 22 and 23 at Garey Park, 6450 Farm-to-Market Road 2243, Georgetown. The fest includes live music, tethered hot air balloon rides, art, cooking demonstrations, food and wine tasting, and polo matches. Tickets are available at www.victorycup.org/bestoftexas.

The Educated Angels Masquerade Party will be from 8 p.m. to midnight March 23 at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center, 3601 S. WS Young Drive. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Proceeds go toward the organization’s local community projects.

The 44th annual Big Spring Sami Show will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 23 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 24 at the Bell County Expo Center, 301 W. Loop 121, Belton. Vendors selling crafts, home and garden décor, art, jewelry, and more will be in attendance. Tickets are $6 for adults and kids 12 and under are free.

Family Fun

The Mountain View Elementary School PTA Carnival will be from 5 to 8 p.m. March 22 at 500 Mountain Lion Road, Harker Heights. Games, obstacle courses, rides, and food will be available.

The Sunburst Under the Sea Beauty and Baby Pageant will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 23 at the Killeen Mall, 2100 S. WS Young Drive. Contestants may range in age from newborn to 27 years old. For more information and to download an application visit www.sunburstbeauty.com.

The Killeen Copper Mountain Branch Library, 3000 S. WS Young Drive, is hosting Spring Story Time three days a week from Jan. 7- May 18. Monday sessions are from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. for kids up to eight years old, Tuesday and Wednesday sessions are from 10:15 to 11 a.m. for kids five years and younger.

The Killeen Main Public Library, 205 E. Church Ave., is hosting its Spring Story Time three times a week from Jan 8- May 7. Tuesday story times are from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. for children eight years and younger, Wednesday and Thursday sessions are from 10:30 to 11:10 a.m. for kids up to five years old. The main branch also hosts a Lego Block Party every Wednesday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. for all ages.

Bronco Youth Center, 6602 Tank Destroyer Blvd., Fort Hood, offers a free Explore Learning and Playgroup from 9:30 to 11 a.m. every Wednesday. Each session is geared toward children younger than 36 months old, but is open to all age groups. The class is hosted by ACS/FAP New Parent Support Program, a group of nurses and social workers that provide parenting education and support to families with children 3 years old and younger. Participants must have a valid military ID. For more information, call 254-287-2286.

Planetarium

The Mayborn Science Theater at Central Texas College features a variety of laser shows, movies, and other events based on astronomy. For show descriptions, a full schedule, and ticket prices go to www.starsatnight.org or call 254-526-1800.

Clubs, Meetings

The Bell County Historical Commission will hold a business meeting at 7 p.m. March 25 in the first-floor courtroom at the Bell County Courthouse in downtown Belton. For more information, or to become a new member, call 254-933-5917.

The Great Books Club meeting will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 25 at the Archives Room of the Temple Public Library, 100 W. Adams Ave. Members will discuss the latest read, “The Bacchae,” by Euripides.

Every Sunday morning, a free group run is held at various locations. This week, runners of all ages and paces will meet from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Dana Peak Park trailhead in Harker Heights. If the gate across the road is closed, runners will park there and run to the trailhead. Water and coffee will be provided.

The Killeen Copper Mountain Library is holding its monthly adult book club meeting at 10 a.m. March 16. Members will discuss this month’s read, “Olive Kitteridge,” by Elizabeth Strout.

The Adult Crochet Group will meet at 2 p.m. every second and fourth Saturday of the month in the Library Archives room at the Temple Public Library, 100 W. Adams Ave. Members of all crochet skill levels can bring a project to share, work on independently, or receive help on from other members. Call 254-298-5702 for more information.

Songsmith Salado chapter meets from 7 to 9 p.m. the second Monday of every month at the Salado Public Library, 1151 N. Main St. Membership is free and meetings consist of a discussion about the craft and business of music, friendly feedback on original songs, as well as guest speakers. Songsmith is a Texas-based nonprofit with the mission to discover, encourage and connect songwriters and musicians in Texas, especially in the Central Texas area. Su Heflin is the meeting coordinator for the Salado chapter. For more information, email songsmithsalado@gmail.com or call 254-947-3427.

Copperas Cove Bass Club meetings are at 7 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Lil Tex Restaurant, 502 S. Main St., Copperas Cove. Call 254-661-9274.

The Bell County Writers Guild meets from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. the first Monday of each month at the Lena Armstrong Public Library, 301 E. First St., Belton. Call 254-231-1843.

The Mystery Book Club meets at 1:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 201 E. Central Texas Expressway, Harker Heights. All mystery book lovers are welcome. For information, contact Marcene Saunders-Martinez at 830-357-8314.

Local Music

Barrow Brewing Company, 108 Royal St. in Salado, is hosting live music by Bottlecap Mountain from 7 to 9 p.m. March 22, Memphis Knee from 7 to 9 p.m. March 23, and Williamson County Line from 3 to 5 p.m. March 24.

Blends Wine Bar is hosting live music by the George Carver Band from 8 to 10 p.m. March 22. Cover is $5, 21 and up only. Blends also hosts Karaoke Saturdays every week with DJ WillyBe from 7 to 11 p.m. and Sunday Fundays from noon to 6 p.m. with half-off glass prices on already opened bottles of wine. For more information, call 254-613-4739. Blends Wine Bar is at 208 N. Penelope St., Belton.

Dirty Harry’s presents live music at 9 p.m. every Wednesday. No cover for ages 21 and older. Dirty Harry’s is at 206 W. Veterans Memorial Blvd., Harker Heights (next to King Pin Tattoos). For more information, call 254-680-6557.

Bo’s Barn Dance Hall and Club will host live music by Mark Richey from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. March 22 and Fast Movin’ Train from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. March 23. Both nights are $8 cover. The dance hall is at 4984 W. Farm-to-Market 93, Temple. Catch karaoke from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. every Thursday, with a DJ until 1:30 a.m. Happy Hour is from 5 to 10 p.m. every Thursday, and 5 to 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. Get a free dance lesson from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every first Thursday of the month. For more information, go to www.bosbarndancehall.com, or call 254-939-7131.

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Chupacabra Craft Beer and Salado Lonestar Winery is hosting live music by Dan Patterson from 7 to 11 p.m. March 22 and DeAnnaWendolyn from 8 p.m. to midnight March 23.Chupacabra is at 401 S. Main St., Suite #105, Salado.

Farmers Markets

All-Year Pioneer Farmers Market will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of Tractor Supply Company at 2002 E. Central Texas Expressway in Killeen, weather permitting. Go to www.facebook.com/pioneerfarmersmarket or call 254-458-8223 for more information.

Florence Market Days runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Saturday of every month at Florence City Hall, 106 S. Patterson Ave. Farm vendors, artisans, retail sales, cottage and food vendors and nonprofit organizations will be present.

Arts & Theater

RAW- The Royal Street Art Walk in Salado will be from 6 to 9 p.m. every fourth Friday of the month from February to November. Galleries and other village businesses will come together to display visual arts and goods, feature live music, and foster community. Some participants include: Salado Glassworks, Bentons Custom Jewelry, Ro Shaw Clay Studio, Sirril Art Gallery, FSG Fine Jewelry, and Barrow Brewing Co.

The Mayborn Museum Complex, 1300 S. University Parks Drive, Waco, is featuring a special exhibit, “Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quite, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit,” on display until May 12. The play-and-learn exhibit invites children to interact with activities and installations throughout the museum that feature the work of the famous children’s author and his well-known characters. Patrons of the Waco/McLennan County and Hewitt Public Libraries system can also borrow a museum membership at no cost at any time. For more information, call 254-710-1104.

The Bell County Museum, 201 N. Main St., Belton, is open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.Call 254-933-5243 or go to www.bellcountymuseum.org for more information.

The Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum, 315 W. Ave. B, Temple, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and hosts a free, themed family day on the first Saturday of the month. Go to www.templerrhm.org or call 254-298-5172 for more information.

Dancing

The Lions Club Park Senior Center hosts a dance for seniors 55 and older from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. every first, second, and third Tuesday of the month at the Killen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Highway. Admission is free and attendees are asked to bring a food dish to share.

In the Mood Ballroom is hosting a Ballroom Dance from 8 to 11 p.m. March 22 for $7 per person, or come early for the lesson at 7 p.m. and stay for the dance for $10 per person. In the Mood hosts events and dance lessons of various styles throughout the week and is located at 13 and 15 S. Main St., Temple. For more information on future events or classes, call 254-773-7088, email Karen.Keith@inthemoodballroom.com, or go to inthemoodballroom.com.

Bars, Clubs

Club Fuego, 704 Edwards Drive in Harker Heights, features Latin music and dancing every Thursday through Sunday from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Ladies are free before 11 p.m. Call 857-294-5604 for more information.

O’Brien’s Irish Pub, 11 E. Central Ave. in Temple, hosts a Local Artist Open Mic Night at 8 p.m. every Tuesday. No cover. Call 254-295-0518 for more information.

Longhorn Saloon, 2503 S. General Bruce Drive, Temple, hosts music every Friday and Saturday. DJ Sauce will play from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. March 22. No cover. DJ Desperado will play from 9 p.m. to midnight March 23. No cover.Call 254-771-1364 for more information.