In 2021, the 'oooohs' and 'aaaahs' will be back at Ellen Trout Park. The 16th annual July 4th Celebration presented by Mike Love and Associates is happening this Sunday.  Last year's event had to be canceled due to safety concerns with the ongoing pandemic, but the drop off in active COVID-19 cases and the widespread vaccinations have contributed to this year being a 'go'!

The biggest fireworks display in Deep East Texas will get underway sometime around 9:30 p.m., but the day's festivities will start around 3 p.m.   There will be numerous vendors on site with all kinds of food and desserts, as well as various merchandise on sale.  Bounce houses, face painting, and other attractions geared towards the kids will be on hand.  Coolers are welcome onto the grounds, but, please no alcoholic beverages and no glass containers. Of course, the Z&OO railroad will be running with train rides and the Ellen Trout Zoo will also be open.

Live entertainment will be featured on the lakefront stage which is sponsored this year by McDonald's and Trent Ashby.  Jasper McNeese will perform from 4-5:30, Clint Alford takes the stage from 5:30-7, and then Jonathan Webster performs from 7 until just before the fireworks start.

Free parking will be available at the Expo Center parking lot.  A free bus shuttle service will also be offered throughout the late afternoon and evening departing from the Lufkin High School parking lot. Parking will also be available along Ellen Trout Drive, just be careful as you will be parking just off a major roadway. Beginning around 8 p.m. and continuing until about 11 p.m., the Lufkin Police Department will close the section of roadway near Ellen Trout Park and Zoo on Ellen Trout Drive/SL 287 from just east of US 59 North to US 69 North. Traffic will be diverted to BU 59/Timberland Drive, US 59 North and Kurth Drive. LPD will monitor all traffic control through these locations as well the intersections of Spence Street, MLK Drive and Sayers Street.

There are numerous good viewing areas near Ellen Trout Park to watch the fireworks, however, the best place to see all the different levels of fireworks will be at ground zero inside the park perimeter. KICKS 105 will be doing a live remote at the event beginning at 3 p.m., and the official music to the fireworks will be broadcast on KICKS 105 as well. So, bring your lawn chairs and blankets, pick out a spot, and celebrate the 4th with KICKS 105, Mike Love & Associates and the Lufkin Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Lufkin 4th of July



LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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