Central Texas is facing the driest eight-month period in 116 years, and dwellers in Austin apartments have certainly felt the impact. The current drought is the third worst on record, with the last dry period of this magnitude being in 1917. Things are different this summer: floating down the Guadalupe River requires a hike down parts of rocky terrain, ants and flies are invading apartments and swarming home patios on a quest for water, bluebonnet season seemed like only one week long in the spring, and the Fourth of July fireworks show on Lady Bird Lake has been canceled for the first time in 35 years. In fact, The City of Austin has not approved any public fireworks shows for the upcoming holiday.
The drought and change in plans have left many Austinites wondering, “Hmm… now what am I going to do for the Fourth of July?” Since the public use of fireworks is restricted within a 5,000 ft radius of the Austin city limits, many residents of Austin apartments are traveling out of town to create their own show with friends and family. Some will also travel to Kyle, Texas to catch a glimpse of a public fireworks display. Big Fourth of July events in San Marcos, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Fredericksburg, Floresville, San Marcos, Schertz, and Lake Travis have also canceled their fireworks, but the accompanying festivities will still commence.
If you are planning to light fireworks on the 4th in Central Texas, here are some tips:
- The closest counties to Austin where personal use of fireworks are permitted for 2011 are Gonzales, Milam, Austin (county!), and Lavaca. There are other counties further south in Texas that are also allowing the use of fireworks.
- The use of fireworks in banned areas is considered a class C misdemeanor and is punishable for a fine up to $500. Don’t worry, you will not find places to buy illegal fireworks anywhere near these areas!
- Snakes, GlowWorms, smoke devices, wire sparklers, and trick noisemakers (party poppers, booby traps, snappers, trick matches, cigarette loads, auto burglar alarms) are not considered banned fireworks and can be used within the Austin city limits and most banned areas.
3 million acres have been destroyed by wildfires in the Central Texas region. Fires have already swept through areas of Oak Hill, near Hamilton Pool, and have even destroyed some Austin apartments in the city limits. Take safety precautions and make sure that the area around your apartment living quarters are safe from harm’s way this holiday. Have fun and a Happy 4th from the ApartmentLife blog!