Shell Freedom Over Texas

2021 Press Release

Mayor Sylvester Turner announces big entertainment, fireworks, and American Frontline Heroes for Houston’s Official Fourth of July Celebration

Houston’s signature patriotic celebration, Shell Freedom Over Texas, returns with a salute to America’s Frontline Heroes. The annual day-long festival is on hold for one more season, however, Houstonians can enjoy the City’s cherished tradition of music and patriotic moments via live broadcast on Sunday, July 4th from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. on ABC 13. Fireworks will reach 800 feet, almost doubling the height of the traditional show, for more to enjoy from further away. Open spaces and neighborhood parks with a view of the western downtown skyline are ideal. Eleanor Tinsley Park will be open for fireworks viewing only for families that wish to park downtown and walk (Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive will be closed for fall out).

"Freedom Over Texas is one of the city's most cherished events. We will celebrate Houston's frontline heroes and America's freedom with the help of our sponsors who have continued to support us despite the continued pivot from our usual festival and fanfare," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "I am grateful to Shell and Reliant, who have returned as sponsors for a second year during these unprecedented times. I also thank Walmart in their new role as Entertainment sponsor and Dr Pepper and Bud Light Seltzer, who have stood with us year after year to bring this star-spangled celebration."

“We’re very pleased to return as title sponsors for an event that celebrates the tremendous appreciation we have for our frontline workers – in schools and in supermarkets, in hospitals and in gas stations – whose heroic efforts to serve others have helped us become a more resilient community,” said Gretchen Watkins, President, Shell Oil Company. “Let’s continue that progress, by remembering to #RecreateResponsibly on this 4th of July holiday as we celebrate the heroes who have stepped up during this challenging time.”

Headlining the evening of musical entertainment is Academy of Country Music Awards’ 2021 Music Event of the Year recipient, Lee Brice. Brice is one of only two artists to become members of Pandora’s "Billionaires Club” as the most-played country artists of all time on the format. Lee, along with Carly Pearce, recently won the ACM’s 2021 Music Event of the Year for their No. 1 hit “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” He is the recipient of several CMA Awards and has been nominated for a Grammy. He has eight radio singles hitting number one ("A Woman Like You," "Hard to Love," "I Drive Your Truck," "I Don’t Dance," "Drinking Class," “Rumor," “I Hope You’re Happy Now," and “One of Them Girls”).

Special guest artist and Academy of Country Music Awards’ 2021 New Male Artist of the Year, Jimmie Allen will open the show. He is the first black solo performer to win this distinction. The multi-platinum selling artist released his debut album Mercury Lane in 2018 and made history as the first black artist to launch a career with consecutive No. 1 songs – “Best Shot” and “Make Me Want To” – on the U.S. Country Airplay charts. His latest project, a star-studded collaboration EP titled Bettie James in honor of his late grandmother and late father, was released July 2020 and has garnered more than 145 million streams.

Alanis Sophia, from the most recent season of American Idol, will join the show along with local and regional favorite Brian Jack & the Zydeco Gamblers with its southwest Louisiana sound mixed with the emerging sounds of R&B. A special patriotic moment with the Houston Symphony and Houston Methodist Singers rounds out the roster.

“As the Houston Events Industry returns to robust offerings, we are reminded that this is a measured process,” said Susan Christian, Event Producer and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events. “We’ve worked on the 2021 reimagined event since last year. It is a privilege to again present Shell Freedom Over Texas, honoring those heroes who continue to sacrifice in support of our communities and America.”

No July 4th is complete without fireworks. Thanks to Reliant, the evening will culminate in fireworks finale that can be seen on ABC13 or in the skies west of downtown with Cox Media radio stations simulcasting the music.

Each year Freedom Over Texas donates a portion of the proceeds to the Houston Food Bank. This year, we will feature a “Text to Give” campaign to benefit the food bank.

For the fifth year, Walmart and Dr Pepper have partnered with the Military Warriors Support Foundation to give a home to a deserving combat-wounded veteran during the broadcast.

During a time when many were disconnected, people connected with nature and the outdoors. Learning and playing outside became essential for all; and caring for one another and the places we play is how we #RecreateResponsibly. Take time to learn how you can #RecreateResponsibly and help the outdoors at

Title Sponsor: Shell; Entertainment: Walmart, Fireworks: Reliant; Anchor Sponsors: Dr Pepper, Bud
Light Seltzer; Official Radio Sponsor: COX Media Group: The Eagle 106.9/107.5, The New 93Q, Country
Legends 97.1 FM; Official Hotel Partner: The C. Baldwin, Curio Collection by Hilton; Community Partner:
Houston Food Bank; Beneficiary: Houston Civic Events, Inc.; Producer: City of Houston Mayor's Office of
Special Events; Television Partner: ABC13.

WHEN: SUNDAY, JULY 4, 2020 from 7:00 p.m. -10 p.m.

WHERE: KTRK-TV will provide live coverage of the event on ABC13 and all ABC13 live streaming apps; COX Media Group radio stations will also simulcast the fireworks music soundtrack.


Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. In the U.S., Shell operates in 50 states and employs more than 17,000 people working to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future.