Despite ban, city will explode in celebration
Despite the ban on the sale and use of fireworks in Jefferson and the surrounding counties, the show must and will go on!
The city of Beaumont’s traditional Fourth of July celebration with music, concert, food, drinks and the grand finale — fireworks — will be as big, bright and booming as it has been for the last 25 years.
“I think some folks think that because they can’t buy fireworks this year, we are not having the celebration downtown,” said Danielle Underferth, city of Beaumont communications manager. “It’s not off! The city of Beaumont is exempt from the ban and the celebration will take place.”
Every Southeast Texan is invited Monday evening, July 4, to Main Street in front of the Beaumont Civic Center beginning at 5 p.m. Bring lawn chairs, ice chests, mosquito spray and all your friends and family to the grassy area between the Beaumont Public Library and the Julie Rogers Theatre. Due to construction at Riverfront Park, events for this Fourth Celebration have moved a block inland.
“All of Main Street between Forsythe and College Streets will be blocked off,” said Underferth. “Although we won’t be at Riverfront, the viewing of the fireworks will be comparable to previous years because they are so high.”
The 30-minute pyrotechnic, sky-lighting and stunning extravaganza begins at 9 p.m. when Mayor Becky Ames counts down to the first explosion of showering color. However, the commemoration of U.S. Independence Day with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, begins hours prior with music, food and beer!Mid-County native, accomplished singer and songwriter and local favorite Ashlynn Ivy along with Southeast Texas native and guitar man Dave Macha takes the stage between the Julie Rogers Theatre and the Beaumont Public Library at 5 p.m. for an hour. Ivy combines soul, rock and blues with her velvety voice and original lyrics for a beat-keeping kick off to the celebration. She will be followed at 6:15 p.m. by Southern rocker Jeremiah Houston. Houston and his Austin-based band will perform songs from his albums “Hung The Moon,” “Face The Storm” as well as others.
The tempo accelerates at 7:45 p.m. when rock band Forever Falls moves center stage. The “high octane arena rock” group has opened for and/or shared the stage with the likes of Sevendust, The Black Crowes, Halestorm, Evans Blue, Saving Abel, The Burden Brothers, Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper and Grand Funk Railroad, to name a few.
Kick back and relax and enjoy the tunes sipping a big cold one. The city of Beaumont is transforming the porch of the Beaumont Public Library into a Beer Garden. Get your Bud Light and Miller Lite in 16-ounce aluminum bottles to take back to the grassy entertainment plaza, or relish the “garden” experience by sitting and socializing at round tables assembled on the porch.
Supplement your swigging with savory Southeast Texas fare including fried Gulf delicacies – shrimp and catfish. The catfish will be served with french fries in an aluminum pie plate. Other all-American edibles for the all-American evening include hot dogs, chili dogs, pork kebobs and all-time festival favorite funnel cakes! Sop up the powered sugar left from your eaten cake with a little ice cream or a snow cone or soft drink chaser. There will be plenty of water, too. Food will be sold at customary festival-like prices.
Also at the 8 p.m. hour, and while Forever Falls plays outside, the Symphony of Southeast Texas will perform a free concert inside the Julie Rogers Theatre featuring traditional and patriotic favorites including “76 Trombones,” “Sousa’s Washington Post March” and “Stars & Stripes Forever.” There will be a salute to George M. Cohan as well as a salute to the armed forces, honoring servicemen and women of the past and present. Dr. Jimmy Simmons, president of Lamar University, will conduct the concert that ends in time to see the big event, the Fourth of July fireworks over the Neches River.Free parking will be available at the Beaumont Civic Center and throughout all of downtown.