EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - People across the U.S. are marking the 4th of July with parades, fireworks, barbecues - and competitive eating, however, for most East Texans the brakes have been put on fireworks.
July 4, or Independence Day, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Dry conditions and low humidity have prompted all counties in Deep East Texas to issue burn bans. The threat is so great that many of those counties have temporarily outlawed the sale or use of fireworks.
Most East Texans will have to do without a backyard, amateur fireworks display. The following is a list of burn and fireworks bans across the area. We've also provided a list of public fireworks displays and community events.
Angelina County: Burn ban and fireworks ban. The annual 4th of July Extravaganza will take place on Monday, July 4th at the Ellen Trout Zoon in Lufkin. Festivities begin at 1 p.m., followed by the Amazing Turtle Race at 4 o'clock on the bank of Ellen Trout Lake. Live entertainment is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., with a shuttle running from Lufkin High School to the zoo. Fireworks will get underway at 9:15 p.m. along the lake.
Parts of Loop 287 north in Lufkin, near Ellen Trout Zoo, will be closed to traffic Monday night from 8-11.
"North Loop 287 (Ellen Trout Dr) will be completely closed to all vehicular traffic from US Hwy 59 N (Timberland Dr) to US Hwy 69 N (Kurth Dr) starting at 8:45 p.m. this evening for Fourth of July Celebration at Ellen Trout Park. Traffic is expected to return to normal sometime between 11:30 and Midnight."
Nacogdoches County: Burn ban and fireworks ban. Freedom Fest will take place on Monday, July 4th from 5 to 9:30 p.m. in Festival Plaza, located just south of the downtown square in Nacogdoches. Families are invited to enjoy delicious festival food, children's activities, the Brookshire Brothers "Star Spangled Banner Burger Cook Off," the "Star Spangled Pitch Off" washer tourney, and live music by Nickel Draft and Sound Stone. The evening will culminate in a dazzling fireworks display sponsored by the Nacogdoches Jaycees, beginning 30 minutes after dark. Admission is free.
Anderson County: Burn ban only. A partial ban on fireworks is in place. Fireworks with a fin and missiles are prohibited. A public fireworks display will be held at Story School near the YMCA at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, July 4th.
Cherokee County: Burn ban only. Fireworks are currently allowed. A public fireworks display will be held at Lake Jacksonville at dark on Monday, July 4th.
Houston County: Burn ban and fireworks ban. Several "Celebrate Freedom" activities are planned on Monday, July 4th. The "Kentucky Headhunters" will perform at the Crockett Civic Center from 7-9 p.m., followed by the recognition of any veterans. A public fireworks display will get underway at 9:45 p.m. in front of the Civic Center. The annual fireworks display at the country club has been canceled.
Jasper County: Burn ban and fireworks ban. An Independence Day Weekend celebration will get underway at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 2nd in Sandy Creek Park in Jasper. Families can enjoy live music, a watermelon eating contest, a hoola hoop contest, and plenty of food. Fireworks will get underway at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Newton County: Burn ban and fireworks ban. There is no public fireworks display.
Polk County: Burn ban and fireworks ban. A public fireworks display is being held on Monday, July 4th on Lake Livingston. A viewing area and parking is offered at the Waterfront Lodge in Onalaska. Fireworks will get underway around 9 o'clock.
Sabine County: Burn ban and fireworks ban. There is no public fireworks display.
San Augustine County: Burn ban and fireworks ban. There is no public fireworks display.
Shelby County: Burn ban and fireworks ban. The City of Tenaha is holding a public fireworks display Monday, July 4th at the high school football stadium, the "Tiger Pit." Gates will open at 7:00 p.m. and a southern gospel group will perform at 8 o'clock. Fireworks will get underway at 9:00 p.m., sharp.
Trinity County: Burn ban and fireworks ban. There is no public fireworks display. If you are camping, County Judge Doug Page is allowing the use of small, self-contained barbeque pits that have a cover.
Tyler County: Burn ban and fireworks ban. There is no public fireworks display.
If your Independence Day Weekend plans take you into an East Texas forest, be aware of burning bans. The Texas Forest Service has issued a ban on all outdoor burning in the Angelina, Davy Crockett, Sabine, and Sam Houston National Forests. Open flames from campfires, any grills, stoves, lanterns, and smoking are outlawed. However, smoking is permitted inside a closed vehicle or building. Fireworks are also prohibited.