Safety precautions for Amarillo's downtown 4th of July events

Safety precautions for Amarillo's downtown 4th of July events
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Since Amarillo's 4th of July celebration will be downtown this year instead of at John Stiff Park, first responders are taking extra precautions to make sure you're staying safe while having fun.

Amarillo's Route 66 celebration will block off several roads downtown this weekend, and city personnel expect thousands of people to crowd the area throughout the day Saturday.

Extra police presence and easy access to first aid facilities are some extra step first responders are taking to handle any problems.

"It's going to be more congested, we can't just totally block off downtown we've got to account for that traffic that's wanting to get on 287, that thru north and south traffic," said Amarillo Police Chief Ed Drain. "But I think we've got a good plan."

A pedestrian-only area is set up in a 20 square block area in the middle of downtown.

Drain said he'll have 40 officers working the event Saturday, not including evening patrol officers who already regularly work at that time.

Amarillo Fire Chief Jeff Greenlee said the fire department will have two EMS teams roaming on UTVs through downtown all afternoon.

There will also be two first aid stations and water for purchase for $1 from various food vendors.

"The fire marshal's office will be providing security for the [fireworks] launch site, and then also afterward we'll be doing some patrol in the fallout zone from the fireworks launch to make sure all that's extinguished," said Greenlee.

This is a family friendly event, but new this year there will be a designated area where adults can buy and drink alcohol.

"At that location at 6th and Pierce we're going to have four officers dedicated just to working that site," said Drain. "So people...will be able to drink but they have to drink inside of that area. It is a violation to walk outside of that area with alcohol."

There will be about 6,000 parking spots available within six blocks of the event spaces, but Drain reminds everyone not to drink and drive.

"Stay safe and stay sober," he said.

For a full list of events in Amarillo and details on all the 4th of July celebrations being held throughout the panhandle, you can visit this link.