Next week, the country will come together to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day. For most of us, that means a day off from work spent with family and friends, participating in quintessential summertime activities like backyard barbecues, beach days or pool parties. But amid all the festivities, the Fourth of July is also a day that sees many injuries and accidents due to overzealous celebrators looking to make the day explosive.
Though a staple of the holiday, fireworks pose a large safety threat. Most of the accidents during the holiday are a result of personal fireworks displays gone awry. And it’s not just the person lighting the fireworks that is in danger. Explosives are unpredictable and uncontrollable and in a split second can go from pointing toward the sky to pointing at someone. The noise and bright lights can also spook nearby animals, sometimes causing them to injure themselves in fear. This is especially an issue in equestrian areas.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office will once again enforce its ban on all illegal fireworks including bottle rockets, standard fireworks, M80s with mortars and more. A good rule of thumb is if it launches or explodes, it’s better left to the professionals. Anyone caught violating the rules could face up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Luckily, several local municipalities are offering fun, free Fourth of July celebrations, complete with professional fireworks displays — which are far more impressive than any illegal backyard display. And with everything from food and bounce houses to music and games, there is something for the whole family to enjoy.
Royal Palm Beach kicks off its celebration Thursday at 6:30 a.m. with the Red, White & Blue Fishing Tournament. At 7:30 a.m., runners will gather for a 5k walk/run, while golfers head to the Village Golf Club for the Firecracker Golf Tournament. Starting at 1 p.m., Commons Park will be open to the public with a carnival-like environment. Lasting until 8 p.m., families can enjoy the Kids Fun Zone with rides, slides, games and more, as well as food trucks and a volleyball tournament. At 7 p.m. Odyssey Road, a Journey tribute band, takes the stage and will play the crowd into the Zambelli fireworks display at 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, in Wellington, residents can enjoy a patriotic pool party from noon to 5 p.m. at the Wellington Aquatics Complex. Then, Village Park will open at 6 p.m. for “A Family Fourth Celebration,” which includes games, inflatable rides and live music from the Brass Evolution. At 9:15 p.m., the sky will light up with a Zambelli fireworks display.
With so much in store for the day, you’re sure to find a way to celebrate without risking life and limb. But no matter how you choose to spend your holiday, we at the Town-Crier encourage everyone to stay safe and be kind to one another. After all, the day is about coming together as a nation to celebrate our freedoms — fireworks not necessarily included.