Pop Goes the Fort is losing its pop. Wait, what? Because of changes that have taken place on base, fireworks will not be a part of the annual Fort Bliss Fourth of July celebration this year. Instead a laser light show will replace the time-honored tradition.

According to a post on the Fort Bliss MWR Facebook page, the change is due to safety issues involving the newly developed housing area next to Biggs Park. “The area from which we shot fireworks in 2011 is now occupied by housing,” the statement reads. “We had to move farther away for 2012, and the fireworks were so far away that they were a disappointment to many.”

The post goes on to explain that Army organizations have stricter distance guidelines between a fireworks display and a structure, and so “rather than moving even farther away, and having fireworks that look like they were coming from New Mexico, the decision was made to have a laser light show rather than nothing.” The Fort’s celebration -- billed as ‘El Paso’s only Independence Day laser light show’ – will still feature musical entertainment by the El Paso Symphony Orchestra.

Pop Goes the Fort will get underway Thursday at 5 p.m. at Biggs Park. You are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets, picnic baskets and coolers; however, glass containers and outside alcoholic beverages are not allowed. For more details, consult the Fort Bliss MWR Facebook page.