GP/JC Twin cities ready for annual fireworks show

By David Taylor
Managing Editor

One of the oldest traditions shared between Galena Park and Jacinto City is the annual Fourth of July fireworks show. The 30-minute show draws an attendance of thousands of spectators on both sides of the High Road and has continued since 1999.

“In the early years, it was Jacinto City only and was held at the ballpark,” said Lon Squyres, city administrator for Jacinto City.

Then the laws changed, and the event was moved to the parking lot of Tinseltown. Laws relating to distance and the nearby freeway changed again and the celebration was dormant for seven or eight years, he said.

“Then Mayor Mike Jackson approached Mayor Bobby Barrett of Galena Park and the two cities got permission from the Port of Houston to host the event on the high road between the two cities,” Squyres said.

They still receive the blessing from the Port, who owns the property the high road sits on that’s used to dump dredging materials.

Residents are encouraged to park near the water tower, and ball parks in Galena Park and on Holland Ave. In Jacinto City, Squyres said spectators gather on the other side of Holland Ave, some walk over to Lane Street and watch from there. There are also parts of the high road on the hill that can be utilized.

The higher up, the more other fireworks displays can be seen in the distance including downtown Houston, Baytown, and Pasadena.

The ‘shoot site’ is halfway between the two cities on the high road of Mercury and Main. The site, Squyres said, provides a large enough buffer zone between the launch site and spectators which makes it a very safe choice.

“The actual site is owned by the Port of Houston which has been very supportive of the event. Of course, the site is within the city of Galena Park, so they are the authority having jurisdiction. For that reason, the pyrotechnician will work very closely with their Fire Marshal in order to assure a safe show,” Squyres said.

The pyrotechnician this year, Ramiro Chavero, is an employee of Jacinto City who has worked hard over the years to obtain his state license to conduct this type of show. The state licensing process involves an apprenticeship and a written examination.

The high road will be closed on July 3rd to allow Ramiro and his staff to set up the equipment. The next morning the actual fireworks are loaded into the mortars and wired to the firing system. Weather permitting, the show begins at about 9:15 PM on July 4.

The show is approximately 30 minutes long and this year will not be simulcast. No one is offering that option to the outlying cities.

The money for the show is budgeted by each city, this year costing taxpayers $13,500 for each city.

“It’s something that is well-attended and enjoyed by everyone,” Squyres said.

The public is invited to attend.

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