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Texas-sized turnout at Houston's Fourth of July celebration

Thousands filled Eleanor Tinsley Park for this year's Freedom Over Texas. It was the first time the event was held in person since the pandemic.

HOUSTON — It was a Texas-sized turnout with a space city twist for Shell's Freedom Over Texas signature Fourth of July celebration.

"It' looks bigger than before," said Rommel Carino. "And it's better and more organized than before."

Thousands filled Eleanor Tinsley Park for the first in-person annual event since the pandemic started.

"Been kind of hard," said Nathaniel Havies. "Looking at it on television is just not the same as being here in person and the atmosphere with everybody."

Leading up to the fireworks finale, families braved feels-like temperatures in the triple digits. Some shed tears because it was so painfully hot.

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The misting station was a fan favorite.

"This is amazing," said Naomi Ashberg. "This is the best thing I've ever heard of in my entire life."

Beating the heat and staying safe was certainly top of mind.

From the air to the ground, eventgoers noticed the increased police presence. 

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"They're patrolling everywhere," said Ruth Carrillo. "I've seen a lot."

"Security is definitely beefed up," said Carino. "A lot of uniforms here."

On this Fourth of July, a whole lot of red, white and blue, bringing thousands of people together.

"Last two years they didn't have Freedom Over Texas due to the pandemic and everything," said Havies. "Now that things have opened it's a whole lot better. And this year we're going to try to it enjoy it as much as we can."

Xavier Walton on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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