Only One Fireworks Show in Midland County This Year

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

If you want to see a fireworks in Midland on this Fourth of July, there's only one game in town. 
Midland County's ban doused any hopes of people setting off their own. 

So if you want to see some rocket's red glare in your celebration, you'll need head out to Citi-Bank ballpark.

And there's not just one show this year, there's three. 

The Rockhound's manager tells us, because of the fireworks ban, they decided to add a new show so that more people in Midland County could enjoy the show this year.

"It is a great show," Monty Hoppel, General Manager of the Rockhounds, said.

"With the burn ban in effect I think it's actually a benefit to the citizens that we as a public facility have three firework shows so we can sort of please the people that aren't able to do it on their own," Hoppel said.

The ban has prohibited anyone from selling, buying, or shooting off firecrackers, except professionals.

"The fireworks we shoot are a whole lot different," Dawn Graf, Head Pyrotech with the Odessa Jaycees, said. "Of course they're a whole lot bigger, but when you're trained to use them the way they're supposed to be used, makes a big difference."

The show can only be run by professional pyrotechnics, the fire department must be on site, and the sparks must be 500 feet away from the fans.

"It's more benefitial, because we're in a setting here where people can come and enjoy a professional show and so many people won't be off doing their own thing where it may not be as safe or in an area where some place could catch fire," Hoppel said.

A HAZMAT driver takes the fireworks to the site, but they have to be careful too, if there's too much static the explosives could go off.

"The fallout from our fireworks falls into a concrete parking lot, so we have that advantage that we're not in an open field where there's a fire that could be started," Hoppel said.

So to be on the safe side this year, Midland County is leaving the fireworks to the professionals.

"It's just a perfect place to let the professionals do it and let the consumer sit back and enjoy the magnitude of fireworks that we do and it's much more than what an individual could buy on their own anyway," Hoppel said.

Rockhounds officials said last night they had over 6,000 people come out for the show and on Friiday night they expect that number to climb to 7,500.