By Victor Lopez
ODESSA--If you want to celebrate July 4th with a bang, you'll have to catch a professional fireworks show. Firecracker Fandango in Odessa is putting one on.
Given the extremely dry conditions, a lot of thought and consideration went into the city's and county's decision to let Firecracker Fandango's fireworks display go off as planned.
They are taking every precaution to make sure this 4th of July celebration doesn't go up in flames.
"We're the only permitted organization to shoot in Ector County," Nancy Wells, the Executive Director of Main Street Odessa, said.
It just doesn't feel like 4th of July without fireworks. This year, thanks to mother nature, the only ones who can shoot them off are the pros. One of the few shows available to the public is Firecracker Fandango in Odessa.
According to Wells, "The Odessa Jaycees are professional pyrotechnics. We have the Odessa Police and the Odessa Fire Department on site. So we take extreme care to prepare the area and do a safe and professional shoot."
Talks between Main Street Odessa and Ector County Commissioners have been ongoing for a while. Every precaution and possible scenario has been thought out.
The precautions include everything from hosing down the area and buildings around the shoot location to including the Fire Marshal in the process.
"During all this time, the Fire Marshal is on site. The Fire Marshal has always been on site," Wells explained.
City of Odessa Fire Marshal, Detra White says these types of decisions aren't taken lightly, "It's a safer situation and we really try to convey that to the public, every year. It's a safer situation than people exploding fireworks on their own."
Being on site, White has the option to stop the fireworks at any time.
"If I foresee any problems, then I will stop the fireworks shoot. And it would be because of wind," White added.
With temperatures sticking in the triple digits for the last few weeks, it's recommended that Fandango visitors wear their hats, put on sunscreen and stay hydrated.
Last year's Fandango was canceled, thanks to Hurricane Alex.
"It was the only time we've ever canceled. It was the only time," Wells said.
With little to no chance of rain in the forecast for this July 4th weekend, Wells says this show will go on, "It's going to take more than a sprinkle to shut us down, this year."
Just a reminder, it is illegal to possess and set off fireworks inside city limits. The disaster declaration, recently signed by Governor Rick Perry extends that into the county, and that includes selling them. If you are caught in violation of those bans, you will get a ticket.