About 2,500 people took advantage of Van Alstyne’s Independence Day festivities to enjoy quality time with family and celebrate America’s freedom through the 30-minute fireworks show presented just after dark.

Patrons and area residents viewed the show from the parking lot behind Van Alstyne High School, and the adjacent empty field just to the north of the parking lot. People began arriving as early as 6 p.m., and the tailgates and lawn chairs began to open up. Some people had ice chests with water, soft drinks, and snacks while others had full picnic lunches. Children’s games opened up on quilts offered just for that purpose, corn-hole boards became Barbie doll sunbathing platforms, skateboards and scooters, and several pets, well kept on leashes were just some of the indications of just how much fun the little people were having. As the dark settled in, people lighted up sparklers. Kids played with glowing necklaces and beach balls in the grassy areas.

The city council puts the fireworks costs into its annual budget, said interim City Manager Lane Jones.

That keeps the annual event free to the public.

Jones said there were 2,500 attendees estimated by the fire department. The department remained on scene in case they were needed.

Davis & Miller, of Gunter, who set up the fireworks in systematic order, creating a finale that included a newer, larger, louder type of rocket. They set up along SH 5, and kept the fireworks at least 400 feet away from the crowd, for safety purposes.

The ceremonies began with the solemnity of “The Star Spangled Banner” sung by resident Ashley Walker as she stood atop the Van Alstyne fire engine and as spectators stood with hands over hearts as firefighters held open the American flag. Then, about 10 minutes later, the flashes and bangs of fireworks kicked it off. Continually and continuously, fireworks went upward, filling the skies with red, white, and blue, and also with yellows, oranges, greens, and just about any other color available to the production company and visible to the eye.

“I have received several compliments on the quality of the show,” Jones said. “The grand finale was really something to behold.”