EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Surging coronavirus cases and dry weather were the main reasons why on Monday El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego banned the sale of fireworks in the county.

Samaniego declared a drought disaster that would make fireworks at this time an environmental hazard.

He also banned large gatherings at the county lines on the 4th of July, which usually hold up to 40,000 people.

El Paso officials released new orders and guidelines for parades and outdoor gatherings that started to take effect on Monday, June 29.

According to the new orders, gatherings and parades for up to 100 people are allowed with a special permit while all participants must still practice social distancing and wear a mask.

The order requires the parade organizer with a permit to request all participants to send a health survey stating if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Fireworks alternatives

Even without fireworks 4th of July can be celebrated in a flashing way.

Festival-goers covered in glow sticks attend the Coachella Music and Arts Festival – Weekend 2, on Sunday, April 19, 2015, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Zach Cordner/Invision/AP)
  • Glowsticks are an affordable way to brighten up your celebration. You can find red, white and blue glowsticks and wear them as a necklace or bracelet, or put them up as decorations.
  • Another way to replace the popping sound of firecrackers are confetti poppers which you can buy or make yourself out of recycled materials.
Karen Shin pops a confetti popper during a Chinese New Year celebration in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
  • A red-white-blue balloon fight is a great activity to cool down and bring a pop of color. You can fill your red white and blue balloons with water and food coloring to make it even more festive.
  • If you will really miss the colorful lights in the sky you can always get firework light decorations to hang above your table. You can order them online and still get them on time for 4th of July.
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You can find fireworks decoration lights with many online retailers.