HOUSTON — Fourth of July is usually filled with fun, food and fireworks, but this year, Mother Nature had different plans.
The holiday turned out to be a bit of a bust for so many in Houston. Most people were forced to spend their holiday indoors.
But it’s safe to say the biggest disappointment was the cancellation of one of the city’s biggest events of the year - Freedom Over Texas.
The fireworks were great, but the storm definitely rained on our parade this year.
It was weeks of work, from set-up to street closures, but it all came down to one concern: safety.
Organizers say each year, Freedom Over Texas is about $1.2 million in hard costs from start to finish.
But that’s 100-percent funded by sponsors: Citgo; Bud Light; Dr. Pepper; Southwest Airlines; Walmart and more.
The city says they were all part of the decision to cancel the festival, even though they were footing the cost. And they’ve all signed up to do it again next year.
The city did put a little of their own money in as well, but only in personnel costs, from city employees to police presence.
But they’re also losing out on thousands - money they would normally make from gate tickets and concessions. That comes to about $200,000 to $300,000 each year. That money usually goes into their rainy day fund, which, so rightfully named, they also had to dip into this year for a little help.
Overall, about 5,000 tickets were already sold. Those will all be refunded. The festival usually gets an average of 50,000 people each year. About 30,000 of those are buying tickets.
As for next year, the show will still go on. The city says they will spend the next six weeks wrapping up this event and then start planning for 2019 in the Fall.