Celebrating the Fourth of July the island way
North Padre Island is typically peaceful, but in the summer and during holidays it gets busy. But on the Fourth of July it's always a blast.
"Fourth of July has been wonderful. There's a golf cart parade but the fireworks show, it's just absolutely phenomenal," Padre Island resident Chris Thompson said.
For Thompson, Independence Day means a lot to him.
"My oldest son is in the coast guard. He's a helicopter pilot in the Coast Guard, so the Fourth of July always means something special," he said.
Since he's been living in North Padre Island for the last six years, Thompson has enjoyed celebrating July Fourth island style.
"You get to have the bay and the water as your back yard and the gulf and the beach as your front yard," he said. "I get to sit on the back dock. I'm a little bit spoiled. We have some neighbors over and we cook out and get ready to watch the fireworks show just on the back dock."
Behind the scenes of the Island Blast Fireworks Display
While most people relax and enjoy the show on Independence Day, Nick Colosi will be literally working in the field, making sure things are running smooth at the fireworks launch site.
Colosi is the president and chairman of the Board of the Island Blast Foundation.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the fireworks display, except for one year that was skipped because of COVID-19.
"It turns into an event that takes six to seven months to put together." Colosi said. "The entire board is myself and (...) Todd Hunter Junior. So, it's a two man show."
Colsi also said there's a process to make sure the fireworks show is both safe and legal.
"We have to have inspections done, licenses, fees, permits and insurance, safety precautions and we deal with about 15 different agencies to put this show together," he said.
A week ahead of the event, there was a controlled burn at the launch site to decrease the risk of wildfires. Emergency crews will also be available if sparks get out of had.
Colosi said the show total could cost about $26,000 and they do not receive aid from government agencies. A contract has to be signed for the show and a 50% deposit has to be made by December each year. This year's show deposit was cost about $12,200.
The Island Blast Fireworks Display is supported by donations. Colosi said if they collect enough money for one year, they are still grateful for overflow because it helps the non-profit save for the next year's bill and keep the holiday tradition alive.
The foundation's director said donations are greatly appreciated at this time, before they start planning the 2024 show in October.
The Island Blast Fireworks Display starts at 9:15 p.m. at 13409 Whitecap Blvd. on Independence Day. People are asked to avoid parking in restricted areas.
Colosi said everyone is welcome on the Island, however he is asking people to consider the Island's capacity and respect neighborhoods and the environment.
Fireworks are illegal without the proper permits and licensing. If you want to report illegal fireworks activities official say avoid calling 911 unless there is an emergency. You are asked to call (361)-886-COPS.
For more information on the Island Blast Fireworks Display, click here.