The week ahead: where to see fireworks this weekend

This is your Friday update, which provides a quick look at the week ahead and some developments being tracked by El Paso Matters.

Fireworks: From Ascarate Park to Fort Bliss to Socorro, there will be various fireworks displays throughout El Paso this holiday weekend. At Ascarate Park, the fireworks will begin around 9:20 p.m. Monday. However, the gates to enter Ascarate Park will be closed to incoming traffic at 8 p.m. Food trucks will set up in the park starting at 3 p.m. . Western Playland, the Town of Socorro and the two Abundant Living Faith Centers in the Lower Valley and Westside will also hold fireworks on Monday night. The El Paso Chihuahuas will have fireworks shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday after each game which begins at 6:30 p.m.

July 4 Closed: All federal, state, county and municipal offices will be closed Monday for the July 4 holiday. All local school districts, as well as the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and El Paso Community College will also be closed.

Expansion of the UMC, increase in property tax: After four hours of testimony on Monday, the El Paso County Commissioners Court, by a 3-2 vote, cleared El Paso University Medical Center to begin the process to issue up to $400 million in certificates of obligation to expand the public hospital. Commissioners David Stout and Iliana Holguin voted against the proposal, which will require a property tax increase, as public input was not solicited in advance. Before issuing the certificates, UMC will return to the Court of Commissioners on September 12 for final approval and an update on the impact of property tax.

Andrea Hutchins

New CEO of the Chamber: Andrea Hutchins, the former director of the El Paso County Economic Development Department, who has a military background and ties to Fort Bliss, is the new El Paso Chamber executive director. She replaces David Jerome who left in March. Hutchins is currently chief operating officer at Thomas P. Miller & Associates, an Indianapolis-based economics and labor consulting firm. She will be the chamber’s first female CEO.

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