Texoma residents celebrated the Fourth of July Tuesday and many spent the day at all the traditional venues: next to the grill, in the park and at the pool. And while some even celebrated America’s 241st birthday at the office, their spirits were still high.


“It’s definitely a special holiday,” Allen Stewart said. “I think most people and most every American understands that.”


Stewart, his wife Julie and their four children all traveled from their home in Whitesboro to Sherman, where they spent the afternoon at the Splash swimming pool. As he sat under the shade of a large umbrella and watched his kids swim, Stewart said the pool was a great place to spend the holiday and an excellent way to escape the holiday chaos at Lake Texoma.


“It’s a good way to cool off,” Stewart said. “And it’s definitely easier than going all the way out to the lake. When we go out there, we like to spend our time on the islands, but so many people go out there on Fourth and if you anchor close to shore, you’ll get you’re boat blocked in real quick.”


Stewart said once the kids were dried off, his family planned to head home and and he would get to cool down in the same way so many adults do on the Fourth of July.


“We’re going to get done here, go home, grill some burgers and I’m definitely going to have a cold beer,” Stewart said. “You can’t fire up the grill without a cold beer. That’s always my excuse, anyways.”


Just across the street at Fairview Park, LaToya Hart was already enjoying some freshly-grilled food with her family members.


“It’s an American tradition, over here,” Hart said, pointing toward the grill. “We’ve got hot dogs and beans.”


Hart and her family gathered at the park to celebrate the Fourth, but also to celebrate the life of a family member who had recently passed. She explained that spending time with her family and friends gave her strength and she expressed a hope that all Americans would do the same on Independence Day.


“Just remember to be together, not divided,” Hart said. “And I don’t mean that just for our immediate family, but to be together with our fellow countrymen. We can’t stand together if we’re always divided.”


Down the road in Van Alstyne, Alamo Fireworks owner and manager Kenny Wilkerson didn’t have the day off.


“People like things that go boom,” Wilkerson said. “That keeps us pretty busy, but it’s good for business and we like that.”


Wilkerson said his stand along U.S. Highway 75 opened on June 24th, but that 90 percent of sales traditionally occur on July 3-4. And with sales permitted until midnight, Wilkerson said there were sure to be at least a few folks stopping by to secure some last-minute Fourth of July fun.


“They always come in right there at the end,” Wilkerson said. “And, of course, they try to work out a deal on those prices.”