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Before fireworks, Woodlawn Lake's July 4th party offers raspas, loteria, wrestling ... and stamps?

Chris Eudaily

The night sky over the San Antonio area and the Hill County will be lit up with professional fireworks shows on the Fourth of July — the most dramatic of a wide range of traditions celebrating the nation's independence.

San Antonio's official fireworks show takes place at Woodlawn Lake. The show comes near the end of a day long series of events at the park until 9:30 p.m. Admission is free.

San Antonio Parks Foundation President and CEO Mary Jane Verette said the grand finale is 12 minutes long. The fireworks are fired off from barges in the middle of the lake. She added the show is synchronized to music.

Verette said the U.S. Air Force Band of the West and DJ Vegas will perform.

There will be food trucks and vendors, including the Spurs merchandise truck. The Fourth of July fare included turkey legs, BBQ, burgers, hot dogs, tacos, gorditas, aguas frescas, raspas, corn, mangonadas, and chicken on a stick. Beverages will be sold too. No alcohol was allowed at the family friendly event.

There were also carnival games, including bull riding. There were also wrestling matches hosted by Texas Wrestling & Entertainment, along with Que Sabor Loteria.

The U.S. Postal Service also attended the festivities. Postmaster Robert D. Carr, Jr., dedicated the postal service's new flag-themed stamps at 6:15 p.m.

One of the four new flag-themed stamps the U.S. Postal Service will unveil at San Antonio's July 4 festivities in Woodlawn Park.
U.S. Postal Service
One of the four new flag-themed stamps the U.S. Postal Service unveiled at San Antonio's July 4 festivities in Woodlawn Park.

In a statement, the USPS explained that the "four stamps depict Old Glory flying at different times of the day. While the shapes and colors of the clouds change, the sun is always shining on the flag. The flags, shown from a low-angle perspective, draw attention upward, toward the magic of the changing sky."

The USPS also noted that there have been 27 versions of the U.S. flag as the nation grew with new states. When Hawaii entered the U.S. at the 50th state in 1959, the 50-star flag — the current flag — was created.

Visitors can buy the new stamps and postcards. They can also visit a vintage postal service stagecoach.

More details on Woodlawn events are available here.

In 1973, Willie Nelson held his first 4th of July picnic. There were some problems. The locals said it was "moral pollution" and Nelson was fined $1,000 for violating the Texas Mass Gatherings Act. But that didn’t stop Willie from doing it again and again. Dave Dalton Thomas is the picnic historian and has written a book about this Texas tradition.

Other Fourth of July fireworks shows in the area include those at SeaWorld and Six Flags-Fiesta Texas.

Leon Valley's fireworks show takes place at Raymond Rimkus Park. Schertz will light up the sky from Pickrell Park.

Other shows are scheduled from the Helotes Festival Grounds, Boerne City Park, Landa Park in New Braunfels, the Floresville Event Center, Starcke Park in Seguin, Lady Bird Johnson Park in Fredericksburg, and Louise Hays Park in Kerrville.

Pyrotechnic amusements from sparklers to Roman candles have long been a staple of celebrations in the U.S. and beyond, helping to mark national holidays, sporting events and more.
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