Thousands gather to celebrate July 4th in Round Rock despite heat

Thousands packed into Old Settlers Park to celebrate the Fourth of July for Round Rock’s Frontier Days.

It was pretty much an all-day event and eager firework lovers started camping out at noon to secure a good spot.

"All our koozies are red, white and blue," said Cire Tamayo, who camped out with her friend Lindsey Thompson. "Mostly everything is red, white and blue. We have the red, white and blue airheads, candies, and fruit roll-ups."

With burgers and hot dogs on the grill, they certainly know how to throw a Fourth of July picnic.

"Today's a beautiful day, gorgeous blue skies, a nice breeze going on, so we’re just having a great time out here," said Tamayo.

They've been at Old Settlers Park since 1 p.m., braving the near triple-digit heat.

"We have plenty of water, we have a couple of hand fans if we need them," said Tamayo.

"We need the shade," said Thompson. "The shade is good, but other than that, we’re good."

Others, like Kayley Cordell, have been outside since 8:30 a.m. for the annual parade.

"It’s fun to see the kid's smiles and just, I mean the heat is something, but it’s not much," said Cordell. 

She walked the parade on stilts.

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It’s already been a long day for the Round Rock Fire Department. They’ve got a tent ready to go, in case of emergencies, especially heat-related ones.

"We’ve already had some incidents at the parade this morning so we want to make sure that people are well aware that it’s important to stay hydrated," said Captain Ricky Virgne with the Round Rock Fire Department. "Find shade if you can, if you have fans, stuff like that. Try and stay cool."

And if it couldn’t get any hotter, a crowd gathered to cheer on a handful of brave souls, who really took the heat in a pepper-eating contest.

That was one of the many events leading up to the main show.

Luckily, there were a handful of cool food and drink options available for the non-pepper eaters.

Texas Twisters was serving up fresh lemonade.

"It's awesome," said a kid taking a sip of the drink.

"It has oranges, lemon, and limes all squeezed together," said Nick, who made the lemonade.

He was hoping to see more customers as the night went on.

"It is a little bit slower, but there are people out there staying hydrated," said Nick. "That’s the best way to do it."

Whichever way attendees choose to wait out the fireworks, whether it’s a refreshing drink or a tasty BBQ with friends, sweating through the heat was worth every minute.

"Hanging out with her and my man and seeing the fireworks," said Thompson. "This is our tradition, and we do it pretty much every year and have for a long time. We've been friends since middle school, so this is kind of our thing."

Another big concern we saw leading into the celebration was, of course, safety, especially after the shooting that happened at Old Settlers Park on Juneteenth.

Park rangers and police drove and walked around in pairs during Frontier Days.

The fire department also said that with help from Williamson County, it was ready to go in case anyone needed to go to the hospital.