Since this drought began, and possibly longer, residents have been limited on their selection of fireworks variety.
Specifically, the county commissioners have banned aerial fireworks with fins and sticks.
But not this Fourth of July. And that is thanks to the rain that fell during the past few weeks which greened up the county and lowered drought index.
Commissioners had a special meeting planned for Monday morning to call for the ban on aerial fireworks, but that was canceled earlier that morning.
Judge David Silva, said just prior to the canceling of that special meeting, “According to the law, we cannot act upon that because we are not within the parameters of the Keetch-Byram Drought Index.
“Due to the recent rains we had – it seems like ages ago, but we have had some rains – it dropped our drought index to the 400 plus area.
“We need to be at 575. We are not there, so we cannot forbid aerial fireworks.”
While it is legal to shoot aerial fireworks, residents are still urged to use caution and common sense.
Robert Bridge, emergency management coordinator for the county, advised that those lighting fireworks this holiday should remember that these are mini explosives capable of causing severe injury.
Children should never be allowed to play with the pyrotechnics unsupervised. Even sparklers, which are often considered the tamest of fireworks, can reach temperatures of 1,800 degrees.
Revelers should remember that it is illegal to ignite fireworks on public property and to shoot aerial fireworks over public roads.
Bridge also reminded that people should be courteous to their neighbors and be respectful of others’ property, homes and vehicles.
Those lighting any kind of fire should always have a water hose or, at the least, a bucket of water handy in case of fire.
Those living in the city should just forgo lighting any fireworks at home.
Police Chief Joe Treviño said it has been illegal to possess, set off, store or use fireworks inside the city since the City Council passed an ordinance against the fire threat in 1973.
The offense is a Class C misdemeanor with a fine of $200 plus court costs.
Those looking for a way to celebrate though can do so for free, thanks to Angel Care Ambulance Service.
Business owner Gabriel Aleman, with the help of Bebe Adamez, is hoping to entice as many local residents to the Expo Center as possible to come out and see thousands of dollars worth of aerial fireworks go off high in the sky.
This is the third year that Angel Care has paid the bill for the show.
This year’s celebration will not feature the daytime activities in the Lucas-McNeill Pavilions because of the heat.
But as the day begins to cool off at about 6:30 or 7 p.m., the gates will open, and fireworks fans will be able to park in the large lot north of the rodeo arenas.
That will give those attending a chance to park their vehicles and set out their lawn chairs where they can best see the fireworks before the show starts at about 9 p.m.