Houston Fourth of July celebration to go virtual, keep fireworks show

Houston will still have a fireworks show July 4, but the festival along Buffalo Bayou at Allen Parkway is canceled due to coronavirus concerns. (Courtesy Pexel)
Houston will still have a fireworks show July 4, but the festival along Buffalo Bayou at Allen Parkway is canceled due to coronavirus concerns. (Courtesy Pexel)

Houston will still have a fireworks show July 4, but the festival along Buffalo Bayou at Allen Parkway is canceled due to coronavirus concerns. (Courtesy Pexel)

Houston’s annual Freedom Over Texas 4th of July celebration will be altered to accommodate coronavirus social distancing guidelines, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced June 15.

The annual festival along Allen Parkway by Buffalo Bayou is canceled. In lieu of the event, the Houston Symphony Orchestra will perform a virtual concert streamed on ABC13 followed by a fireworks show from the bayou.

“This does not change the fact that we should be celebrating our independence and the sacrifice that so many have made and that so many continue to make,” Turner said.

Houston rappers Bun B and Trae Tha Truth, mariachi band Mariachi Imperial De America, and Houston Norteño group Los Luzeros De Rioverde are also scheduled to perform.

Lyle Lovett, Josh Turner, La Mafia and Hunter Hayes will tune into the performance virtually as well.


Residents are encouraged to stream the symphony performance and watch the fireworks either virtually or from cars, balconies and backyards where possible.

“It’s terrific to be able to re-imagine this and still bring everybody together,” said John Mangum, the executive director and CEO of the Houston Symphony.

It will be the first time the Houston Symphony Orchestra will gather at Jone Hall since March 14, he said. The orchestra will also be joined by rap, country and Americana artists.

The event was coordinated in part by corporate sponsors and community partners, including Shell Oil Co., Walmart, Dr Pepper, Reliant Energy and the Houston Food Bank.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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