It's illegal for Austin residents to set off fireworks inside city limits, but a public event on New Year's Eve may quell your appetite for explosives.
Austin's New Year takes place at Auditorium Shores (South 1st and Riverside) and will showcase art, films, live music and, of course, fireworks. The event starts on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and finishes with the fireworks show at 10:30.
Fans of fireworks were let down over the summer when the city's Fourth of July show was canceled due to the burn ban.
Travis County Fire Marshall Hershel Lee says local fire chiefs are aware of the season and anticipate an increase in activity this weekend.
"There will be extra deputy fire marshals out on patrol this weekend to investigate any fires that are started to determine if fireworks started the fire," Lee said. "As far as the fire suppression units, I have spoken to a number of fire chiefs and they're evaluating the weather, humidity, wind and things like that. There's a possibility there will be some extra brush trucks available should there be any fire."
Lee says he couldn't speculate as to whether or not people will be purchasing more fireworks this season because of the missed opportunity on the 4th of July.
"I'm not sure that there will be an increase because of that. Generally it's because of the ability of people to purchase. The economy and the weather and those types of things will get people out and get them purchasing fireworks more," he said.
You can buy fireworks at stands in the unincorporated areas of Travis County. Stands will be selling fireworks up until January 1.
Elsewhere in Central Texas:
The fireworks display originally planned for the 4th of July Summerfest in San Marcos has been rescheduled for New Year's Eve. The event happens at the Texas State Bobcat Stadium parking lot behind the baseball/softball complex on Jowers Road. The event starts at 9 p.m. For more information call 512-393-8400.
Cedar Park issued a news release this week warning residents that it is illegal to set off fireworks in the City of Cedar Park or within 5,000 feet of the city limits without a special permit. Police will issue citations to violators. Fines will add up to just under $200.
Georgetown issued a similar reminder to residents. However, in Georgetown, it is also illegal to possess fireworks within city limits. Fines for violators could add up to as much as $2,000.