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Tesla approved for grand-opening party; Del Valle ISD to dismiss early due to traffic

County commissioners approved a permit on March 22 to allow Musk to host up to 15,000 people at the Austin-area Gigafactory on April 7.

AUSTIN, Texas — Tesla is approved to host a launch party for the grand opening of its Austin Gigafactory this April, according to a report from KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman. The Travis County Commissioners Court approved a conditional use permit for the "Giga Fest Event," following public comments on the item on March 22 over safety measures, attendance numbers and more.

CEO Elon Musk posted online about the celebration in February, and reports say there will be interactive tours, food, alcohol and live entertainment. If it happens, the event will be on April 7 from 4 p.m. to 11:29 p.m., according to the permit.

The request says 15,000 attendees will be allowed, but Tesla representative Logan Grant said at the hearing that the event would be by invite only and that Tesla is working to finish its invite list. 

Current plans call for a primarily indoor event, and attendees of all ages would be allowed, according to the permit. Tesla is working on a parking plan and a potential shuttle plan to bring guests to the event.

At the hearing, Paul DiFiore with an Austin-area environmental advocacy organization said they have concerns about Tesla's community engagement.

Commissioner Brigid Shea said while she agreed Tesla needed to do more community outreach and communication, she was not willing to turn down the permit for the grand opening.    

Commissioners also discussed complaints from the public and neighbors about potential fireworks at the ceremony.

On April 1, Del Valle ISD announced that it will dismiss all schools early on April 7 due to anticipated traffic from the Tesla event. Elementary schools will release at 1:45 p.m., middle schools will release at 12:45 p.m. and Del Valle Discipline Alternative Education, the Opportunity Center and Del Valle High School will all release at 3 p.m.

Read the full story about the event permit on the Austin American-Statesman's website.

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