Did you sit in traffic for more than an hour after the fireworks show at Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on the Fourth?
Well, that’s to be expected when more than 70,000 people are downtown to watch the show, officials said.
The Fort Worth Police Department spent months coordinating a traffic plan and have made adjustments over the last few years, said Matt Oliver of the Trinity River Vision Authority.
“I would love for it to be a simple in and out for everyone, but when you are talking about this amount of people at a festival, you’re basically talking about parking for a Cowboy game where people expect to have some sort of delay getting out of the lot after a game,” Oliver said.
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As with any large event, police said they will debrief with the Trinity River Vision Authority to decide what adjustments went well or if there are tweaks that can be made for next year’s show.
The show itself was one of the best Oliver had seen, he said.
“He had some shells in the show that I've never seen at a fireworks show before," he said of the pyrotechnics. "We also heard great reviews from patrons as they were walking out after the show."
The show was so large that the National Weather Service in Fort Worth reported seeing the smoke on radar.
Oliver also cleared up what the short delay was at the beginning of the show — about three minutes after the fireworks started.
“A spark from one of the fireworks landed close to a shell that hadn’t been fired yet and they had to make sure the spark didn’t actually land in the shell before they fired it,” he said. “They stopped briefly, ran over to check, saw it was good and fired the show back up.”
Two arrests were made during the show, police said — one for public intoxication and another on outstanding warrants.
By 11 p.m., the Fort Worth Fire Department had already received more than 1,500 calls reporting firework violations throughout the city, which surpassed last year. Earlier in the night, the department said the 911 system was being overrun with fireworks complaints, and reminded residents to call the number that was set up specifically to take those — 817-392-4444.
Three people were taken to the hospital with fireworks-related injuries, according to MedStar. Two had hand injuries and another fell off a roof while watching fireworks.