Fair Park 4th, Dallas' annual 4th of July fireworks celebration that takes place in Fair Park, has been canceled for 2021.
In an announcement posted on Twitter, Fair Park stated that "Fair Park First and Spectra have made the difficult decision not to move forward with Fair Park 4th for 2021 and will focus on hosting the event in 2022."
The Midway, where attendees usually gather, will not be open, either. The celebration normally features rides and live music.
The fireworks were also canceled in 2020, when everyone was in the throes of the pandemic and large gatherings were discouraged.
Dallas is not the only city in the U.S. to have canceled its 4th of July show. Other cities who've snuffed 'em out include:
- Lake Tahoe
- Baltimore Inner Harbor
- Atlantic City
- Mount Rushmore
- Columbus, Ohio
- Richmond, Virginia
- Palm Springs
- New Orleans
But Dallas is particularly problematic because of the animal situation.
Fireworks are terrifying to many animals. Unlike cities in the north who take a more caring and humane approach with pets, Dallas has a not-insignificant number of people who leave their animals outdoors and/or untended, who then get spooked by the fireworks and get loose, making them vulnerable to dangerous scenarios such as getting hit by a car.
According to officials at Dallas' animal shelter, the fireworks make July 4 one of the worst days of the year for animals.
Dallas is problematic even compared to other cities such as Addison, hosting its annual Kaboom Town event on July 3 and one of many cities around DFW still having pyrotechnics displays. Addison has a less serious loose dog problem than Dallas.
The situation is particularly acute in Dallas because the majority of loose dogs in the city are south of I-30, where Fair Park is also located.
The noise of fireworks can affect not only pets but also wildlife, veterans with PTSD, children on the autism spectrum, and survivors of gun violence.
Silent fireworks, which are actually not completely silent, are often cited as an alternative, and they've been used in Europe and one U.S. city — Costa Mesa, California; but they're still kind of a fringe solution. Many people like the noise and aren't concerned about the impact on wildlife.
Texas overall is not particularly thoughtful when it comes to animals. This is the state where the governor recently vetoed a bill that would help alleviate animal cruelty (prompting a national social media campaign dubbed #AbbottHatesDogs).
Fair Park First executive director Brian Luallen blamed the economic downturn inflicted by the pandemic as the reason for the cancellation but said they would "be back in 2022, definitely."
Dallas managed to survive 2020 without fireworks, and will surely survive 2021, without any impact on our patriotism. Wouldn't it be great if we ditched fireworks for good?
Here's a link to a list of all the July 4th events in Dallas-Fort Worth.