Many traditions are associated with the Fourth of July. Fireworks, barbeques, and just spending time with family are among the popular traditions. For residents of Midland and Odessa, Firecracker Fandango is usually a great way to celebrate our Independence Day. But this year the traditions will change, because the annual event has been canceled. And anyone who disagrees with that decision can just blame it all on mother nature.
Friday was a busy day for Nancy Wells, the Executive Director of Main Street Odessa. Her day consisted of answering phones and breaking the news about a decision that no one wanted to make.
"This is the prudent thing to do, and the board did not take this decision lightly. No one is happy with it," Wells said.
The decision to cancel Firecracker Fandango came early Friday morning as the rain continued to cause problems throughout West Texas.
"Hurricane Alex developed on the Gulf. We were all kind of keeping watch and we kept thinking if it turns into Mexico and goes west...we'll be safe. Well it turned west, but it's sending its rain all the way into West Texas," Wells said.
And the rain isn't expected to let up anytime soon. In fact, the National Weather Service is predicting heavy rain for the entire weekend. Some of you might be saying, “Wait a minute...it's rained in previous years and the event was still held.” So why cancel it this year?
"We have never seen it flood like this before and that's the major difference. It's the quantity. We actually had a nice sprinkle just as we were opening last year. It cooled it off. It was fine. We kept going," Wells said.
But Hurricane Alex is producing more than just a light sprinkle. As a result, safety has to be taken into consideration.
"We plan this for six months and having to call people 24 hours out and stop all the things that are in motion...it has been a tough morning for us," Wells said.
Over 1,000 people would have been involved in this weekends event including volunteers, vendors, and entertainers. Those in attendance would have numbered closer to 20,000. If you purchased a ticket to Firecracker Fandango, simply call Main Street Odessa next week to get your money back.