Galveston 4th of July fireworks returning, but with changes

The plans were revealed as Galveston saw a record-setting spring break. Meanwhile, Houston hasn't firmed up its fireworks plans.

Video Transcript

- Well, with Texas fully reopened now, some events are back on the calendar.

- Yeah, good to see this event back on the calendar. ABC 13 reporter Nick Natario live now. And, Nick, you found out that the 4th of July celebration, we know where to head now. To Galveston, right?

NICK NATARIO: Yeah, that's exactly right. Because in a few months, beachgoers are going to be able to see those fireworks once again here on the island. It's a decision met with mixed reviews down here, though. But decisions are still being made north of here in Houston with Freedom Over Texas, as we discovered the fireworks will go on, but it's going to look different once again.

2021 could be a busy year on Galveston Island. Despite the pandemic, it saw large spring break numbers. Tourism leaders say during the two-week period, island hotels made more money than in the previous eight years. Also, hotels charged more per room. In all, hotels were about 73% full. Leaders say strong spring break numbers usually means big summer numbers, and they could be even bigger. That's because this week, the Board of Trustees approved the 4th of July fireworks display.

- Sounds like coronavirus to me. Doesn't sound appealing at all.

- I think that's a good idea, to be honest. I mean, really, we need a change.

NICK NATARIO: After canceling the display last year, officials thought, with dropping COVID-19 numbers and more people being vaccinated, the timing was right this year. Plus, there's no festival zone, so people can watch from anywhere on the beach.

- There's a lot of opportunity for people to spread out and find space. And you can see those fireworks from a good long distance.

NICK NATARIO: In Houston, Freedom Over Texas will take place on the 4th. You'll still be able to watch the fireworks exclusively on ABC 13. The city plans to announce soon what the event will be like. Leaders say it'll be reimagined, like last year, which means no in-person festival.

- We're still over three months away. We'll do what we can, but I do not anticipate, you know, those big crowds, by any means, on site.

NICK NATARIO: Galveston officials say they approve the fireworks now, but it could change. They plan to revisit it in May.

- And it's just, like, something memorable, you know, like how we used to have big fireworks here in Galveston. Everybody-- you can see it across the water.