El Paso, TX (KTSM) — For the first time in years, there's no more fireworks at Fort Bliss. Officials put a stop to the annual show, but that doesn't mean the celebrations have stopped.
Thursday morning, Fort Bliss set up for their 4th of July celebration “Pop Goes the Fort.” It's a collaboration with the El Paso symphony. But this year, it's a little different because the set-up does not include fireworks.
Instead, there will be a laser light show, for a few reasons, like safety.
"Now there's a housing area here so it's a little too close and there's not a spot for us to set off the fireworks. Not to mention we are in a burn ban," said event coordinator Bill Ketcherside.
Also, the the post wanted to avoid having the El Paso International Airport shutdown the airspace for the fireworks display.
“They're generally accommodating but it's just disruptive to their landings and takeoffs," said Fort Bliss spokesman MAJ Joe Buccino.
The decision to do away with the fireworks is also a more economical option, according to Fort Bliss officials. It's just one of many cuts they've made due to sequestration.
One El Paso local wasn't too upset.
"I think it's just a meaning of people to celebrate our independence," said Austin Powell.
People disappointed about the change might be pleasantly surprised. The company hired to do the job Lightwave, is world renowned. They've put on shows for artists like Kanye West, Madonna, Tom Petty, and Pink Floyd to name a few.
And the show will be a first for Texas, according to Buccino.
"The only independence day light show in Texas so we're pretty excited," said Buccino.
The laser show seems to be a new spin on an old tradition.
"Going forward we'll do this light show every year instead of the fireworks. It's gonna be a great time. We hope everyone comes out and enjoys the spirit of Independence day,” said Buccino.