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'It’s just been a big tradition': Temple organization dazzles in Belton parade

Posted at 11:21 AM, Jul 04, 2024

BELTON, Texas (KXXV) — Fraternal life insurance organization SBJST is ready dazzle the streets of Belton, being part of the city's 100th Fourth of July Celebration Parade.

Participating in this parade for 25 years, the float theme changes every year, and this year is a nod to patriotism with firecrackers and stars galore.

There's also a nod to this year's parade's theme, 100 Years of Rodeo, with red white and blue cowboy boots — SBJST participates in 30 parades a year, changing the float to fit whatever theme comes their way.

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It’s a Central Texas favorite Melanie Zavondny, Vice President of Communications for SPJST, looks forward to every year.

“I remember being in it when I was a little girl, so, it’s just been a tradition for my family, and of course, for our organization it’s just been a big tradition,” Zavodny said.

She's getting ready to participate in the City of Belton’s Fourth of July Celebration Parade, where the organization she’s now apart of, SPJST —

“It is a fraternal benefit society — we’re a non-profit life insurance company."

— has been riding in it for 25 years, with a different float theme each Fourth of July.

“My husband actually comes up with the designs — we’re just going with a very patriotic, red white and blue, we love patriotic. Our colors of SPJST are red white and blue, so, of course the patriotic Fourth of July,” Zavodny said.

“Fourth of July is about watching fireworks and we just wanted to incorporate that into the float,” said Frank Horak, State Fraternal Director for SPJST.

Ready to dazzle the parade route — but this is not the only time this float will be traveling through the streets.

“We do about 30 parades in a year, across the state of Texas,” Zavodny said.

With the final touches put in place, this show-stopping piece is ready to keep the traditional spirit alive this Independence Day.

“It’s a great sight to see how the people of Belton enjoy watching the parade,” Horak said.

“Knowing that it brings joy to people and it bring pride to America, that’s why we do it,” Zavodny said.