Fireworks light up the Houston skies Friday night.

A Houston Lions Club free fireworks extravaganza – one of the largest in southwest Missouri – will kickoff Friday afternoon at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds on North U.S. 63. The one-night event attracts more people than any other affair in the county.

The effort – which involves scores of volunteers and financial assistance from individuals and businesses -begins at 6 p.m. with the opening of Southern Fun Carnival. Armbands, which allow riders to enjoy unlimited amusement rides and cost $12, will be sold from about 4 to 5:30 p.m. The cutoff time is 5:45 p.m.

Freefall Express Skydiving will parachute Thursday and Friday at the Houston Memorial Airport. Some slots remain open; persons interested should check availability at the airport.

Activities continue throughout Friday evening at the fairgrounds. Organizers emphasized that the activity is a family-oriented event, and there will be no alcohol or fireworks allowed on the grounds.

The Texas County Cattlemen’s Association will provide food on the grounds. Food profits go toward next year’s show. The Lions Club also will sell 3-D glasses to watch the fireworks show.

Those attending can listen from their radio on the 88.7 FM frequency.

At 6:30 p.m. a pledge, prayer and the singing of the National Anthem is planned. The U.S. Army Band will perform from 6:30 until 7 o’clock. The New Horizons, a Southern gospel group, takes the stage from 7:05 to 8 p.m.

Parachutists will glide onto the grounds beginning at 8 o’clock. Texas County native Leland Martin, a Nashville recording artist, will perform from 8:10 to 9:35 p.m.

The fireworks show – which is set to music – will run for 30 minutes beginning at 9:36 p.m. Martin will perform following the show from 10:07 to 10:25 p.m.

The carnival will operate as long as a crowd is present.

The fireworks show schedule.

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