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San Marcos Cancels Fourth of July Fireworks Over Crowd Concerns

With cities and towns across Central Texas canceling Independence Day fireworks because of tinderbox conditions created by the drought, San Marcos has decided to call off its patriotic pyrotechnics show.

But it's not because of fire concerns; it's a crowd control issue. San Marcos Fire Marshal Ken Bell feared too many people would show up to the show, creating a logistical nightmare. 

Earlier today, Kyle confirmed it would go ahead with its fireworks display even though it is expecting a larger-than-usual audience.  Austin and Round Rock have both canceled their displays.

Here's the full press release from San Marcos:

San Marcos Cancels Fireworks ShowThe City of San Marcos has cancelled its public fireworks display for Summerfest on July 4 as other area communities also suspended plans for Independence Day fireworks. The annual Summerfest Celebration will go on as scheduled from 5 to 11 p.m. on July 4. San Marcos Fire Marshal Ken Bell noted that the cancellation of shows from Austin to San Antonio has raised logistical issues of being able to safely handle the crowds that could come to San Marcos to see the pyrotechnics display. San Marcos anticipates big crowds over the holiday weekend to enjoy tubing, swimming and canoeing on the San Marcos River as well as the annual Summerfest Celebration at San Marcos Plaza Park. The Summerfest event will take place Monday, July 4 from 5 to 11 p.m. at San Marcos Plaza park featuring live music, a children’s patriotic costume contest and parade, a patriot program and family and children activities. Bell heads up the City’s Park Rangers who provide patrols along the parks and the San Marcos River during the weekend. The City of San Marcos prohibits private or personal fireworks inside and a mile outside the city limits. Hays County Judge Bert Cobb has issued a fireworks ban for all personal fireworks in Hays County. Hays County Fire Marshal March Chambers also reminded residents that Hays County officials are taking a “zero tolerance” stance on violations of the County’s burn and fireworks bans. The county ban prohibits the sale and use of any fireworks without a permit in effect until 7 a.m. on July 5. Violators face fines of up to $1,000. The ban does not apply to fireworks by governmental entities or those with permits to conduct organized fireworks displays in unincorporated areas of Hays County. Under a separate burn ban, Hays County residents are prohibited from any outdoor burning, including using burn barrels with screens. While charcoal and gas grills are allowed, officials urge extreme caution. Hays County Commissioners approved the burn ban on June 13 for 90 days. Violators face up to $500 fines.


Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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