AUSTIN (AP) — AUSTin’s largest university, the University of Texas at Austin, will celebrate its independence day with an unofficial party on Friday.
The University of North Texas, the largest university in the state, will also hold an unofficial independence day celebration, but it will be smaller.
The celebrations are a way for students and faculty members to express support for the United States, as well as for the state of Texas, UT Austin President Gregory Fenves said in a statement.
“We are celebrating the spirit of the United State of America and the history and culture that it has fostered in Texas and the United Kingdom,” Fenves wrote.
“The University, as a public institution, must be able to celebrate the United Nations Day on our campus and across the state.
The celebrations of our independence are a sign of that commitment.”AUSTIN’S BIG PARTYBREAKING NEWS:The Independence Day celebrations were announced on Thursday by UT President Gregory F. Fenves, and the University’s governing board unanimously approved the plan.
The UT Board of Regents voted unanimously in January to move the celebrations to a larger plaza at the UT-Austin campus, where the school will have a larger stage, along with flags and other symbols.
The plaza will be open to the public, with the event beginning at 5 p.m.
The Texas Legislature passed a law in April making it a felony to hold an official celebration of the Independence Day holiday in Texas, punishable by up to a year in prison.
The move came amid heightened tensions over President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the state and in response to violent protests over the weekend.
The unrest started after police shot and killed a man who tried to reach a crowd of people at the University, which has about 5,000 students.