CITGO Freedom Over Texas

Freedom Over Texas

2017 Press Release


Celebrating 30 years of July 4th music, fireworks and fanfare on Buffalo Bayou, Houston’s signature patriotic event - CITGO Freedom Over Texas - will turn it WAY up with live performances, family activities and stunning pyrotechnics Tuesday, July 4th from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. For the first time in the event’s history, the celebration will kick off with a patriotic tribute by United States Air Force Band of the West. Five-time GRAMMY-nominated and CMA Award-winning artist HUNTER HAYES will follow before multi-platinum selling, 2016 MTV Video Music Award-winning DNCE takes the stage.

As is tradition, the evening will conclude with a spectacular blast of fireworks thanks to CITGO who has provided the finale since 2015. This year, CITGO signed on as a dual sponsor providing both the pyrotechnics and titling the event for the next three years.

“Houston is the perfect place to celebrate Independence Day – the people, the patriotism, the community spirit and the corporate support create an outstanding celebration,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “I am personally grateful to CITGO, our new, multi-year title AND returning fireworks sponsor. Because of them and our anchor supporters – one, Silver Eagle Distributors, has been with us for 30 years -  we can continue this annual tradition in impressive style.”

Assembled by front man Joe Jonas in the summer of 2015, DNCE first introduced themselves to audiences worldwide with the release of their debut single "Cake by The Ocean," their now certified triple-platinum breakout smash which made them one of 2016's most buzzworthy acts. Released in September 2015 and included on the group's 4-track debut EP, SWAAY (Republic Records), the song entered the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song became a hit at Top 40 radio, becoming one of the most played songs of the year. Following up, gold-selling “Toothbrush” received widespread critical praise from the likes of Entertainment WeeklyPeople, and Rolling Stone.  Recently, the band released their new single called “Kissing Strangers” featuring global superstar Nicki Minaj.

Hayes' talent both as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has prompted the Los Angeles Times to call him a "country-rock-blues guitar hero in the making." Fans will enjoy his No. 1 hits – the multi-Platinum “Wanted,” double-Platinum “I Want Crazy” and “Somebody’s Heartbreak” - along with bold new releases including a trio of songs Hayes recently released via digital and streaming services: “Yesterday’s Song,” “Amen,” and “Young Blood.” He has been nominated for five GRAMMY Awards, including Best New Artist, and won the CMA Award for New Artist of the Year in 2012, along with three BMI Awards and the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Country Artist in 2015.

As a fitting tribute to our nation’s birthday, the United States Air Force Band of the West will bring a uniquely motivating experience to the CITGO Freedom Over Texas Stage. The 45-member ensemble from the Air Education and Training Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland proudly represents the men and women of the United States Air Force as they travel throughout the southern United States combining pride in the Air Force story with a love for music and education.

Local and regional favorites will be featured on stages throughout the site including Mango Punch! ThunderSOUL Orchestra, Lil Nathan and The Zydeco Big Timers, The Juke Box featuring Grammy Award-winning Regina Belle, Erin Stevenson, Chris Walker and the Ernest Walker Band and The Peterson Brothers.

“After two years serving as the Fireworks sponsor for Freedom Over Texas we realized how important this event is to Houstonians and wanted to step up our support of this wonderful cultural celebration that not only enriches our city but also supports the Houston Food Bank through much-needed donations,” said Rafael Gomez, CITGO vice-president of government and public affairs. “Houston has been our company’s home for more than a decade and over the years we have become true Houstonians. We are honored to give back to this great city by supporting programs that continue to make Houston a great place to live and work.”

This year’s festivities at Eleanor Tinsley and Sam Houston Parks on Buffalo Bayou (along Allen Parkway) include the Walmart All-American Kids Zone, a children’s entertainment area with a stage featuring entertainment for young and old, alike; the Bud Lite Bayou Beer Garden featuring a fun in the sun good time; the Dr Pepper Zone, featuring Houston professional sport team set-ups, live music, food, and a salute to all 5 branches of the military; the Southwest Airlines® Porch where visitors can kick back and enjoy the famous Southwest hospitality, and; ending the evening with an exciting fireworks finale sponsored by CITGO. Watch all the action via live streaming with Backstage Pass, on  

Sponsors: Title Sponsor: CITGO; Anchor Sponsors: Southwest Airlines ®, Walmart, Bud Light, Dr Pepper;  Stage Sponsor: Wells Fargo; On-Site Sponsors:   McDonalds, Stubb’s Bar-B-Q;  Official Radio Sponsor: COX Media Group: The Eagle 106.9/107.5, The New 93Q, Country Legends 97.1; Official Hotel Sponsor: DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Downtown; Community Partner: Houston Food Bank; Beneficiary: Houston Civic Events, Inc.; Producer: City of Houston Mayor's Office of Special Events; Television Partner:  ABC-13/KTRK-TV.

WHEN: TUESDAY, JULY 4, 2017 from 4-10 p.m.

WHERE: Eleanor Tinsley and Sam Houston Parks (and KTRK ABC-13 will simulcast all the fun statewide and live stream with Backstage Pass, on

ADMISSION: $5 per person through May 31 available online
$8 per person June 1 – July 3 available online
$10 per person day of show, online and at event
FREE children 5 and under
*Applicable service charges apply for online purchases


VOLUNTEER: Volunteer and receive the official event t-shirt, free parking, complimentary food and drinks plus fabulous prize drawings from our sponsors! Register at: