McAllen aiming for drive-in experience for July 4th fireworks show

Spectators enjoy the firework display during McAllen's Concert in the Sky at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, in McAllen. (Joel Martinez |

The city of McAllen will be continuing its tradition of holding a fireworks display for their Fourth of July celebration amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s celebration will be different than years past, in that specific social distancing protocols and procedures will be implemented in order to protect attendees during the event.

Xochitl Mora, communications director for the city, said that the event will be restricted to a certain degree.

Details with regard to time and location are still being worked out, but the most notable change to this year’s fireworks display is the event largely being a drive-in experience.

“The fireworks display will be limited to being viewed in your vehicle and from certain areas, I don’t have the exact areas but it’s not a public gathering,” Mora said. “You’ll be able to see from different locations … we’re still working out some of those details, but the big fireworks display is such that where people will not be able to gather.”

Mora went on to say that the city commission had voted that that the city would not hold mass gathering events, such as parades and festivals.

McAllen is currently working with the fireworks vendor, Island Pyros from South Padre Island, to settle on the location where the display would be viewed best for residents. Mora said it will not be a location where people can gather in large numbers to watch.

On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott’s Phase III plan to reopen the state includes special provisions for outdoor gatherings, but it is imperative that local and public health officials work in partnership on safety standards. The special provisions are provided in the governor’s executive order.

Another method of social distancing during the event the city is implementing is broadcasting the fireworks display on their Spectrum channel, MCN 1300. Hidalgo County and the city of McAllen also formed a partnership to air Hidalgo County Commissioners Court meetings on that channel, according to a news release sent Wednesday.

Residents will be able to begin to view the channel starting Friday.

Despite requiring a Spectrum cable subscription, McAllen does provide a livestream of channel MCN 1300 on their website,, for those who would like to watch the fireworks online.