In The News

Fireworks, Fourth celebrations have downtown Fort Worth, Arlington popping

by Fort Worth Star Telegram | Jul 01, 2013

When it comes to the Fourth of July here in Tarrant County, we don’t have just one party.

We have 41 cities. And nearly every city wants its own fireworks show.

From the Fort Worth courthouse bluff to Arlington and nearby lakes, the fireworks in every direction over the next week will celebrate 237 years of America’s independence.

The two biggest shows are also showcases for riverfront development in downtown Fort Worth and the new excitement in downtown Arlington.

Panther Island Pavilion is becoming a familiar entertainment stage in Fort Worth, on the Trinity River near the Henderson Street bridge off Purcey Street. The festival there begins at 2 p.m. on the Fourth, with bands at 6 p.m. and a special Japanese fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

This year, the “Fort Worth’s Fourth” celebration also marks the 25th anniversary of a Fort Worth Sister Cities International partnership with Nagaoka, Japan. Nagaoka city officials and Mayor Tamio Mori will start the celebration with a Japanese-style mikoshi parade Wednesday morning in the Stockyards, then present Nagaoka-style fireworks at the show Thursday night.

Arlington always starts celebrating early with fireworks July 3 and then one of Texas’ oldest and largest parades on the morning of July 4, and now the parade wraps throughout the city’s new downtown and College Park development.

It’s the 46th annual parade sponsored by the Arlington 4th of July Association. This year’s parade is dedicated to Arlington’s educators, from teachers through the leaders who made “College Town UTA” a reality. The grand marshals are University of Texas at Arlington President Vistasp Karbhari, Tarrant County College Southeast Campus President Bill Coppola and Arlington school district Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos.

Other fireworks shows continue this weekend through July 4 in Arlington, Grapevine, Mansfield, North Richland Hills and Southlake, to name the larger celebrations, and at Concerts in the Garden in Fort Worth.

There is one thing that never seems to change: July 4 traffic.

One hundred years ago, the Star-Telegram reported that more than 3,000 celebrators turned out July 4 for the “biggest outing and frolic the city has known for years.”

The crowds came to Trinity Park, the newspaper wrote, “despite the torn-up condition of the bridge over the river at the foot of West Seventh Street.”