As plans for Fourth of July heat up, Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced the lineup at this year's CITGO Freedom Over Texas — aka the city's official, Fourth of July celebration — to be held at the Eleanor Tinsley and Sam Houston Parks on Buffalo Bayou (along Allen Parkway).
At a press conference at City Hall (Legacy Room), Turner revealed this year’s award-winning headliners, plans for the legendary fireworks show, and additional festival information including entertainment, tickets, etc.
But the biggest news is that the event has partnered with NASA’s Johnson Space Center, to bring an exclusive experience to all patrons at the event featuring its history and what the future holds for intergalactic exploration and travel. The area will include an opportunity to be up close and personal with astronauts, robotic demonstrations, virtual reality field trips to the International Space Station, the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV), NASA’s Destination Station, and other NASA assets and activities.
As for live entertainment, multi-chart-topping singer/songwriter Jake Owen and special guest star Kellie Pickler will headline the main stage. Local and regional favorites will be performing throughout, including Austin-based musician Jackie Venson, the Ernest Walker Band featuring Mary Griffin, and The Voice alumnus DeAndre Nico.
The Walmart All-American Kids Zone will have local performances by norteño band Los Luzeros de Rioverde, a contemporary performance and aerialist show celebrating space exploration by Aldine Carver Dance Company, and appearances from your favorite storybook characters and superheroes. People will also be able to amuse themselves with life-size games, carnival rides, a rock wall, and an obstacle course. The live performances will be followed by a usually jaw-dropping fireworks show provided by CITGO.
“CITGO Freedom Over Texas is my favorite signature event of the year," said Turner in a statement, "and it is an honor to be back and partnering with NASA’s Johnson Space Center to launch a month-long celebration, leading up to the anniversary date of the Lunar Landing. This anniversary also marks 50 years of a beneficial and successful partnership between the City of Houston and NASA, a true inspiration for America.”
CITGO Freedom Over Texas; Eleanor Tinsley Park, 18-3600 Allen Pkwy.; Thursday, July 4; 4-10 pm. Tickets are $5 ($10 day of show; free for children 5 and under). For more information, visit the official site.