With municipalities and private organizations canceling fireworks displays and events around East Texas, two shows went on in Overton and Longview Saturday night.
For those who could not attend the display, a 27-minute video on the Longview News-Journal Facebook page reached 23,726 viewers with 150 shares, 624 likes and 208 comments from people who were happy for the family donation that made it happen and ability to watch. The Tyler Paper Facebook page has a video of the end of the Overton fireworks.
Overton made a few adjustments, as did the Longview celebration. Here is a recap of the 4th of July events:
In Overton, city officials and the committee took measures to promote distancing, but from there, visitors were on their own and most did not wear masks. However, Overton spray painted on the grass around the water areas for families to distance from other families and signs were all over the park.
There were also additional hand sanitizer stations available and the crowd during the day-light hours was small enough to distance while at the food trucks and vendor stands. Kids were able to use the playground as well.
As families arrived for the fireworks, staff members wearing masks driving an 8-person golf cart shuttled them to a spot to watch the fireworks.
The Overton fireworks were advertised as 45 minutes, but the crowd, many who said this was their first family outing in months, were treated to an hour-long show.
The city of Longview were called off for non-COVID- 19 reasons, it was a matter of funding. Until a family donation of $50,000 turned things around
The founders and owners of Jucys Hamburgers, Jucys Taco and T. Blanco’s restaurants, which consist of 13 restaurants spread across East Texas, made the donations. Dustin and Molly Anthony and company founder Ronny and Debbie Maxey, Miles Maxey and Meagan and Jeff Kiefer made sure the show went on.
The fireworks were a free drive-in event with gates at 7 p.m. at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Complex. There were a few food trucks, but like other events across the country, the fireworks were the draw, not a daylong or weekend-long celebration and events.