The night sky in Victoria will brighten with a colorful fireworks display in celebration of Independence Day on July 4 at the Victoria Community Center.

“The show will be choreographed and scripted to patriotic music,” said Aaron Hoot, president of Sky Wonder Pyrotechnics. “We use Japanese products that are four times the quality of Chinese products because of the colors. The patterns they design are very unique. You see several effects going off in one shell — several color changes all in one shell.”

Independence Day, a celebration that dates back to the 18th century, has been a federal holiday since 1941. This year, the City of Victoria’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show will be a grand 20 minutes, as usual, but it will look a bit different because of coronavirus.

A drive-in format will allow residents to park their cars on the community center grounds to maintain social distancing. They will be able to bring chairs and coolers and set up shop around their cars, which must be turned off during the show. Facemasks and hand sanitizer are strongly recommended. Glass containers are not allowed. The new format is expected to accommodate the 1,000-1,500 residents who typically attend the show, not including those parked legally around the area.

Residents also will be able to download the Sky Wonder Pyrotechnics app to listen to the music synced to the fireworks display as well as hear announcements during the event. Those parked legally in other areas around town also will be able to hear the music as a result. The music will be piped through the loudspeaker system, too.

“We want to encourage people to download the app to make it all that much more magical,” said Gabby Anglin, recreation coordinator for the City of Victoria.

Parking begins at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 9:30 p.m. Residents will be able to purchase food and beverages from Kona Ice, Mando’s Snow Cones, Anna’s Tacos and More, Flores Hawaiian Hut and Master Food and Grill.

A cornhole/washers tournament will start at 6 p.m. and residents can register until 5:50 p.m. the day of the event. They can walk up to register or register in advance at or by calling 361-485-3200. All $20 registration fees will be collected in cash the day of the event, and the winners of each contest will receive cash prizes determined by the number of participants. The contests will adhere to COVID-19 guidelines with social distancing and sanitizing equipment between uses. The contests are subject to cancellation as the city continues to monitor the virus.

“With the Fourth of July annual event the city hosts, we thought it would give a sense of community through the show while keeping safety in the forefront of our minds,” Anglin said. “Historically, it’s important to us as a town and to us as a nation.”

Elena Anita Watts covers arts, culture and entertainment for the Victoria Advocate. 

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