Round Rock is gearing up for its big Independence Day event later this week at Old Settler’s Park, a month after two people were killed and more than a dozen were hurt there during a shooting at a Juneteenth celebration last month.

The city of Round Rock tells me in the wake of tragedy, the city is doubling its commitment to safety and putting plans in place to ensure these festivities can be fun and safe for the entire community. But not everyone feels comfortable being around large crowds anymore, not with the gun violence plaguing the country and now Round Rock.

Edgar Lorenzana spends most afternoons playing soccer at Old Settler’s Park.

“We always come to the park and we always believe it’s a safe park,” Lorenzana said. “We always see the park rangers up there, even before events when police put up the watch towers.”

But he says he’ll be skipping this year’s Frontier Day celebration at the park this Independence Day, specifically citing gun violence around the country and at the same park just last month.

Lyndsey Vicknair and Ara Duke were killed and 14 others were injured during a shooting after a suspected dispute at last month’s Juneteenth celebration. 17-year-old Ricky Thompson the Third and an unnamed juvenile both face charges in connection to the shooting, but not murder charges.

“We’ve all seen, you know, the news daily. It’s not only here in Round Rock, or here in Texas, there’s you know, violent attacks all over the place.” Lorenzana said.

While city spokesperson Sara Bustillos says ultimately each resident will have to make that decision for themselves, she wants to assure the community that a lot is being done to make the event as safe as possible.

“For the average person who attends our events, they may not notice any changes,” Bustillos said. “However, these are always things we’re taking into account as we make adjustments.”

She says there are more than 700 acres across the park and thousands are expected to attend, which requires a massive effort to police.

“And we make sure we have a law enforcement presence that reflects that,” Bustillos said. “We also are always looking to use the latest technology, but what is going on across the nation, and unfortunately, here in our backyard more recently.”

She says the city has learned a lot from the Juneteenth tragedy, and its operation plan will be adjusted accordingly.

“The response from the medical personnel and the law enforcement on scene [following the Juneteenth shooting] came from that planning that took place before the event,” Bustillos said.

She says while the city still grieves, it’s possible to have joy and healing too.

“We need to remain committed to coming together as a community and supporting each other through it,” Bustillos said.

Lorenzana says while he agrees, he wants to see the action being taken first.

“That’s something that everybody’s gonna have to make their choice. They have to see evidence that we are secure,” Lorenzana said. “The police officers, the police department, is going to have to make an extra effort to ensure people’s security.”

Frontier Days will start with a parade on Main Street, and end with live music, games, and even a pepper eating contest before the evening concludes with fireworks.