If there’s a single celebratory event for summertime in America, it’s the Fourth of July. In terms of celebrations, Independence Day is on par with New Year’s Eve, offering Americans a chance to let loose in the middle of the year. But while it’s a time for fun and festivities, it’s also an occasion ripe for accidents.
Much of the danger of this holiday comes from people who insist on illegally celebrating the day with their personal fireworks displays. This is a recipe for disaster. With all the brightly colored fireworks flying through the sky, it’s not always easy to pay attention to what’s in front of you. Add to that other factors such as nearby animals being spooked, as well as fireworks that don’t work properly, and it’s clear that fun and responsibility are equally important this Fourth of July.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has announced it will enforce its ban on illegal fireworks. The list includes pretty much all the stuff out there: Bottle rockets, firecrackers (rolls), standard fireworks, M80s with mortar, M80s, projectile fireworks and launchable rockets with stands are some of the more popular illegal items. Basically, as the PBSO notes, “if it launches or explodes, it is off limits.” If you are caught, it is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and can get you up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. That’s the law, and it’s important you’re aware of the consequences.
Because of this, we recommend leaving fireworks to the professionals. Not only is it physically and legally the safer option, but it’s free. And on the Fourth of July, nothing says freedom like a free party. As always, residents of the western communities have several options for some Independence Day fun.
In Royal Palm Beach, the day starts at 6:30 a.m. with the annual Red, White & Blue Fourth of July Family Fishing Tournament on Wednesday, July 4 at Lakeside Challenger Park. The day will also include the Mayor’s Cup Kayak Race, Kids FunZone area, live music and entertainment, and free hot dogs before concluding with the Fireworks Spectacular at 9 p.m. at Lakeside Challenger Park. For more information, call (561) 790-5124 or visit www.royalpalmbeach.com for more information.
Wellington’s Family Fourth Celebration will take place from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Village Park. There will be games, inflatables, face painting and live music. Fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m. Free shuttle service will be available from the Palm Tran bus stop at the Mall at Wellington Green beginning at 5:30 p.m. For more info., call (561) 791-4005 or visit www.wellingtonfl.gov.
We realize fireworks laws are commonly ignored, and it’s foolish to expect full compliance. However you end up celebrating the holiday, remember to be courteous to your neighbors, and above all, be safe. There’s nothing less fun than spending the Fourth of July at the hospital.