FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Thousands of people sat on the banks of the Trinity River in Fort Worth to take in the largest fireworks show in North Texas on the Fourth of July.

The 28-minute spectacular was the reason a lot of people came out to the Panther Island Pavilion celebration on Sunday.

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There were some changes to the annual festival this year, but the basics stayed the same – fireworks, food and fun.

“We’re excited to have people back on site,” said Shanna Kate, programming manager for Tarrant Regional Water District.

After COVID-19 forced organizers to cancel the on-site event last year, the crowds were ready to return.

“The kids get to run around, eat food,” said DJ Hall, who lives in Haslet. “It’s awesome out here.”

Families brought their own blankets, chairs, tends, and tubes to enjoy the music and food.

“The girls are going swimming,” said Lenny LaCroix, who was in town from California to visit his granddaughters. “Whoever heard of going swimming with fireworks? But there they go.”

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In years, past, the festival has been an all-day affair, but gates didn’t open till 6 p.m. this time. There were any kids activities, like slides or bounce houses, either.

“So just some things to be precautionary,” Kate said. “We weren’t sure where things were going to be in July, so we wanted to move forward with a format that just brought the event back.”

People didn’t seem to mind the changes.

A family from Indiana made it a point to come to Texas for vacation so they could take part in festivals and events like this.

“We enjoy the live music – it’s great – and the fireworks are going to be awesome, I think,” said Tammy Pasko, who’ll be in DFW for a week with her family. “Just getting America back open again and enjoying our freedom.”

There were several planned explosions at the end of the fireworks show.

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The Fort Worth Fire Department says it has fielded several calls and questions about the pyrotechnics. They are a normal part of the show, and firefighters were on scene just to make sure there were no issues.

Caroline Vandergriff