TRAVIS COUNTY (KXAN) - They're back.
You'll be able to enjoy fireworks this New Years Eve. Just not in Austin unless you go to Auditorium Shores. Personal fireworks in Austin are forbidden.
During the summer drought, fireworks were illegal across central Texas, but that ban has been lifted, to some degree.
Unincorporated areas of Travis County will permit fireworks, and things are bustling at the American Fireworks Warehouse in Bastrop County.
"It has been busy," said owner Chester Davis.
Davis provides bulk orders to fireworks stands across central Texas, but the orders came in late. He says, "Everybody kind of waited until the last minute because they're kind of afraid the county might put them out of business."
Davis estimates he lost $6 million in sales during the summer ban, he had to lay off many employees.
"It is going to take me five or six years to come back from what happened over the summer," he said.
Within the Austin city limits, it is illegal to use fireworks in the city or within 5,000 feet of city limits, subject to a fine of up to $500.
Some items are allowed, such as sparklers, smoke devices, noisemakers and party poppers.
The Auditorium Shores event Saturday, from 5 p.m- to 10:30 p.m., is a family friendly, alcohol free evening, with art, music and film, topped off by a fireworks display.
There will also be a fireworks show in San Marcos, in the parking lot outside Bobcat Stadium, beginning at 9 p.m.
"This is a fantastic way to welcome the New Year, individuals and families of all ages can come out and enjoy the fireworks," said organizer Rebecca Ybarra-Ramirez.
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