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Public Safety

2009 Freedom Days
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
News Release
Friday, June 19, 2009

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center Gearing up for July 4 Fireworks

Prior to the fireworks display beginning at dark on July 4, visitors to TFFC can fish in the stocked casting pond. No license is required, and bait and tackle are furnished for free. Photo © TPWD, Larry D. HodgeATHENS, Texas—Preparations are under way for the annual Fourth of July fireworks show at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. The show will last approximately one-half hour and is one of the biggest in East Texas.

The fireworks show is directed and produced by Pyrotechnics by Lamb.

Even though July 4 is a holiday, the center will be open to visitors during regular hours, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. After 4:00 p.m., admission is free for the fireworks show. Visitors are encouraged to fish in the stocked casting pond while waiting for the fireworks, which will begin at dark. No license is required to fish, and bait and tackle are furnished for free. Fishing ends approximately one-half hour before the fireworks begin.

Food vendors will include Light Up Athens, Ted Kamel Foods, and a boiled crawfish vendor if crawfish are available. A wide range of food items and beverages will be offered.

Pets, alcohol, tobacco products and private fireworks, including “snap caps” and sparklers, are not allowed. The TFFC gift shop will have a booth selling ice cream and assorted patriotic items such as flashing necklaces and light-up hats, safe alternatives to fireworks, as well as old-fashioned red, white and white pinwheels.

The fireworks show is sponsored and paid for by the City of Athens, local businesses and individuals. Major donors include: City of Athens, The Cain Foundation, First State Bank, Harold and Stephanie Smitson, East Texas Medical Center Athens, Athens Steel Building Corporation and Athens Visitor Initiative Program.

Other donors include: Prosperity Bank; Athens Chamber of Commerce; Ellen Key; Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Jones; Robert R. Penn; Byron and Laura Carlock; Brad Davis; Athens Marina, Ltd.; and Gould Insurance Agency.

Also: Kenneth and Katherine Geeslin; Sam and Karen Whitten; Stephen L. McCord; Charles and Carletta Ramsey; Lake Bluff LLC, Atlee Kohl; David and Melinda Thomas; Faye Fern Akin Estate; Brenda and Fred Schneider; Lance and Kathryn Etcheverry; Douglas and Elizabeth Sheldon; Southside Bank; Lake Athens Property Owners Association; La De Da Boutique; Creative Employee Benefits, Inc.; Jerrold and Vicki Beeler; The First State Bank; Robert Craine; Dr. Byron and Tamara Lichtenberg and Nell and Neal Velvin.

Also: Bradford Wagoner; William Vanderstraaten; P.J. Heidbrink; Wendy Harkness; Harrison and Virginia Markley; David and Miranda Yee Lind; James and Patricia Oesterreicher; Stuart and Suzanne Guthrie; Roy and Michele Martin; Chris Godwin; Eastern Texas Pathology; Pritchard Association; Richard and Elizabeth Naftalis; John and Synda Ann Guest; Carolea and Weldon Stone; Michael and Jennifer Neill; Slayden and Carol Diehl; Russell and Lisa Walker; Richard and Kathleen Arthur; Elaine E. Schaller; Citizens State Bank; Rick and Anne Herrscher; Lycabettus Hill, LLC; Darlex, LLC; Pancho Hunt; Art and Sue Laengrich; George Killebrew IV; Jascar Investment, LP, Richard S. Farrell; Erik and Julie Earnshaw; Dr. Ruben and Barb Garcia and Scott and Debbie Muller.

The event has become an area tradition, with many people dressing in red, white and blue in keeping with the holiday theme.

Parking is available in the main TFFC parking lot and in an overflow parking area on Peninsula Point Road. Persons using the overflow parking area may enter through Gate C, which is across the street from the parking area.

For more information or directions, call (903) 676-2277.

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