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Cuero turns out to celebrate the Fourth

July 4, 2011 at 2:04 a.m.

Cynthia DeLane, before and after failing to catch an  egg intact during the egg toss competition in Cuero.

CUERO - Annabel McLeod, 10, watched eggs sail through the air during the egg toss contest, giggling when the first egg fell to the ground with a splat.

Annabel, 10, has attended the Grace Episcopal Church Family Fun Carnival for as long as she can remember.

"It's a tradition. We've been doing this ever since they started it," Annabel's mother Tempi McLeod, of Cuero, said.

"Look Mom!" Annabel cried, pointing as another egg was missed, dropping with a thwack on the pavement.

While she loves competing in the hula-hoop contest and watching the other contests, the carnival and the holiday are about more than winning blue ribbons, Annabel said.

"It's important because without the birthday of America, we wouldn't be free. We wouldn't be here doing this now."

The sound of live acoustic guitars floated through the air, while the smell of hamburgers cooking filled nostrils at the event on Monday.

Seeds flew through the air during the watermelon seed spitting contest, and people lined up to buy raffle tickets and compete in the ring toss.

The church uses proceeds from the event to fund a church project, giving about a third of the proceeds to a local organization.

This year, Keep Cuero Beautiful will benefit from the event.

The other proceeds will be put into the fund to help the church get a permanent priest, church member Dee Sager said.

Robert Rhotenberry grinned as he dangled a blue, satin first-place ribbon from his long fingers. He won it during the egg toss.

"We love this. It's just a great event for the whole community," he said.

Kerry Rhotenberry, one of the event organizers, said they organized the event about 12 years ago as a way to celebrate the holiday and reach out to the community.

"We're so lucky that we're so blessed here in America. It's a way to share that with the community," she said, dabbing at tears in the corners of her eyes.

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