Funk and fireworks set off the Independence Day weekend in Texoma. As one of the first events held in the area to celebrate the holiday, Sherman’s annual Lights on the Lake celebration was held Wednesday at Pecan Grove Park.


The event, now in its 10th year, celebrates the country’s independence with a night of free music and fireworks and for this year’s concert, organizers brought in 70s staple KC and the Sunshine Band to take visitors back to the day of disco.


“For more than four decades, this band has been entertaining fans with the sound that defined the 1970s,” Sherman Mayor David Plyler said while introducing the band.


Wednesday’s event served as this week’s performance for the ongoing Hot Summer Nights Concert series. Tourism Director Sarah McRae said organizers wanted to book a band that would be a large draw but would also fit for a general and broad audience.


“I think it is important for us to have an Independence Day celebration where families have something to do together and enjoying music is an important part of that for us,” she said.


McRae, who has helped organize the event for the past four years, said she expected this year’s concert to be the biggest draw during her tenure. In 2017, Three Dog Night drew the event to capacity to the point that organizers had to add additional space for parking in 2018.


If early excitement is an indicator, McRae said she expected 2019 to push that record yet again.


“If we just judged based on how many calls and early interest we should have a very good night,” she said. “I think a lot of people are excited to see a band like this for free. Usually you’d have to go to the casinos with a $50 ticket.”


Traditionally, the concert is held on July 3 and serves as the first major event for the Fourth of July weekend. Denison will hold its own Independence Day celebration Thursday night when the Scooter Brown Band performs at 7 p.m. at Munson Stadium.