13th annual WesTex connect 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular adjusts to pandemic


ABILENE, TX. (KTAB/KRBC)- On Saturday the Big Country had the opportunity to celebrate America’s birthday in style at the 13th annual WesTex Connect Fireworks Spectacular.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if Abilene was a fireworks destination spot,” said Richard Kemp.

With the major strides this show has taken in recent years, one organizer says the WesTex Connect Fireworks Spectacular has the potential to make Abilene a fireworks destination for all of Texas.

“It’s a show you would see in Houston, it’s a show that you would see in San Diego, it’s a show you would see of the barges in the Hudson River in New York. It is spectacular. It’s the biggest one we’ve ever put together and we’re really proud of it,” said Kemp.

Organizers say preparations for this show started last November, and COVID-19 has made getting ready for this event more complicated.

“Because of the COVID-19 we are very short-handed and we’ve got about five folks that either got family members or been sick and kind of in isolation or quarantine right now, and so that has affected us quite a bit,” said WesTex Connect General Manager Rodney Amonette.

WesTex Connect usually partners with local restaurants and Freedom Fest to provide food for those in attendance, but this year that is not the case.

“We thought it would be best not to be in the food providing industry tonight, just let them take care of themselves. Eat before you come, bring your own cooler if you wish, and safety comes first,” said Kemp.

This week Governor Abbott released new COVID-19 safety regulations requiring the use of masks in most public places, and organizers are doing what they can to make sure they comply with the Governor’s order.

“Insist that everybody keeps the six-foot separation, wear a mask, and we’re going to have hand sanitation places like this where they can clean their hands,” said Amonette.

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