LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The Fourth of July celebration at Ellen Trout Zoo is just days away.
Police said thousands of people complicate the traffic situation, but they want everyone to be safe and have fun.
The fireworks have arrived at an undisclosed location and a traffic control program is lined out. East Texans are just days away from watching fireworks light up the night sky.
"I have a lot of fond memories from when I was a kid growing up going out to Ellen Trout Park and Zoo and watching the fireworks show," said Mike Love. Love's law firm, Mike Love & Associates is sponsoring the show.
However, it doesn't stop at the fireworks, the zoo opens at 9 a.m. and there's going to be live music and a lot of food. One vendor said the event is one of the biggest single day events they cater.
"I think this was our first festival that we did about 10 years ago and now we do about 30 festivals a year," said David Calhoun with Texas Custom Catering.
This year there's going to be train rides, face painting, slides and a longer, 25 minute fireworks show.
"There will be about 2,000 different fireworks going off during the show," explained Love. "We've added about 50 specialty fireworks display items with smiley faces and bow ties and things like that."
"We sell turkey legs, pork-ka-bobs, chicken on a stick, sausage on a stick, steak on a stick, rib eye sandwiches, BBQ sandwiches, a lot of stuff on a stick,"said Calhoun.
The event has grown over the years and with thousands of cars police said a traffic plan is more important than ever.
"Back when I first started working it, we worked it with maybe eight officers or so and now I believe we're up to 16 officers," said Lufkin Police Officer Toby Stanaland.
The loop is going to be shutdown at Loop 287 and Hwy 59 North on one end, and at 69 North and Kurth Drive. It will be closed by 8:45 p.m.
"If you're just traveling through or need to get from point A to point B in the Angelina County area, the best bet is just to take the southern route around Lufkin or any other alternate route because traffic is going to be very congested right there," said Stanaland.
Police will direct traffic on the way out and Stanaland says be patient, they're trying to get everyone home safe.
If you are interested in riding the shuttle Sunday, it runs from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. from the Lufkin High School parking lot.
The fireworks show will start at 9:15 p.m.