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COVID-19 and traffic concerns for New Year's Eve fireworks celebration

City fireworks.jpg
Posted at 7:14 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 07:57:31-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Thursday night, nearly 3,000 individual fireworks will be lit on a barge in Corpus Christi Bay for the Mayor’s New Year’s Big Bang Celebration.

The event will be the first fireworks display held by the city in 2020, as its Fourth of July event was cancelled due to COVID-19. One concern for this week’s event is spectators practicing social distancing. Officials are urging people in attendance to follow COVID-19 guidelines.

“Stay in your car, or just around your car. Don’t be out gathering in groups of 10 or 15 on the sidewalk in front of your car. Just try to stay as separated as you can, but at the same time where you can get a good view of the marina,” said Mayor Joe McComb.

One concern for people who live in the area is the traffic that will be brought about by the event. C.W. Carpenter said he will be avoiding the area entirely.

“I’ve lived here for 30-something years, and I almost always watch it on TV rather than try to compete with the traffic,” Carpenter said.

Rick Balderas said he also plans on avoiding the area.

“There’s a lot of drunk driving that night and everything, so we’d rather be home than be out here,” he said.

Dennis “Gunny” White recently moved to Corpus Christi from Florida. He said he will be checking out the fireworks display, but will walk down to the Bayfront to avoid the traffic in the area.

“Any time you walk, and there’s an extended amount of traffic, it’s something to be concerned about, but not something to keep me out of the area,” he said.

Captain Russell Sherman with the Corpus Christi Police Department, urges drivers to be mindful of pedestrians, and pedestrians to be cautious when walking in the area.

“As they’re driving through the downtown area, they need to be watching for somebody trying to cross where they’re not supposed to be crossing. Pedestrians, we would ask them to use the intersections and cross at crosswalks, because it’s safer for them,” Sherman said.

David Rauff, the Texas Show Producer for Pyrotecnico, the company hosting the event, is excited for people to see the firework display Pyrotecnico has created.

“It’s a great show and we’re honored to be brought back by the city of Corpus Christi. I think it’s a great opportunity to take the year of 2020 and just blow it all up, and we’re going to have the firepower necessary to do that. You’ll be able to see it from up and down the Central City area, all the way from the Lexington down to the end of the park.

The event starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday. For information on where to view the fireworks, check out the event's Facebook page. The event will also be live-streamed on the city's Facebook page here.