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If you’re like me, you’ve been asked a few times this morning, “Do you have any plans for the fourth?”

First of all, I guess I should state that Howard Brothers will be closed on July 4th. We will operate on normal hours July 3rd and July 5th, but we want our family of employees to spend time with their familes and celebrate the birth of our nation and the freedoms we have.

fireworks-lede_982184aFew patriotic Americans can consider an Independence Day celebration complete without fireworks. Most fireworks are still illegal here in Georgia – but as most Georgians know, this does not prevent them from showing up on certain holidays.

Sparklers and fountains candles – not considered to be “fireworks” under Georgia law – also have their own dangers. Lit sparklers can reach nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and if these products are placed on uneven surfaces… they can topple once lit, creating the potential to start a fire and injure anyone standing too close.

If you did visit neighboring states and happen to have the type of fireworks that shoot of the ground, first of all, be aware that the penalty if caught can be as much as a $1000 fine and up to 1 year in jail. If you do choose to shoot them off, you’re on your own. I don’t want to offer ‘best practices’ on how to do something illegal. An interesting thought to ponder… I wonder if police agencies will start to look through social media to ‘police’ illegal fireworks.  As with all types of fireworks and fountains, light one firework at a time and quickly move a safe distance away.

Whatever you do…it is never safe to hold a lit firework of any kind in your hand. Not even Roman candles. The tubes of most Roman candles are not very sturdy, and even a slight bend in the tube can cause a blockage that could blow up the whole candle and severely burn the hand of whomever is holding it.  You should also never pick up a firework after it has been lit, even if you think it is defective and not going to light. Leave it in place and douse with water before moving or throwing it away.

Always be sure to closely monitor children around fireworks. Many firework accidents involve children because so many children love fireworks, but lack understanding of basic firework safety. Proper supervision for children can mean the difference between a fun fourth of July celebration and a trip to the ER with burns that could potentially cause permanent scaring. Around 8,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for fireworks-related injuries, and most of those incidents involve children.

No matter what type of fireworks, sparklers, or fountains you are using, make sure to read the labels and closely follow all directions and safety precautions. Keep a bucket of water or hose nearby incase any of the fireworks get out of hand and be sure to douse all used fireworks in water before putting them into the garbage in order to prevent a trash fire.

Frankly, there are plenty of options for professionally designed and managed firework shows in the Atlanta area. Here are some nearby our stores:

  • Alpharetta’s July 4th Fireworks and Festivities. Celebrate Independence Day with family and friends at Wills Park. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m.,  behind the Alpharetta Community Center. Fireworks begin at dusk. Wills Park 1825 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, 678-297-6133, www.alpharetta.ga.us.
  • Braselton – Celebrate Braselton Festival – Star Spangled 5k/Fun Run at 8 a.m. Celebrate Braselton Festival 4pm-10pm. Parade at 6pm, Fireworks at Dusk. Braselton Park –braselton.net
  • Buford – Mall of Georgia 12th annual Fabulous Fourth. Kids Zone opens 5 p.m. July 4thfor games, water balloon toss.  Fireworks begin at dusk. Free. Post-fireworks screening of “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (rated PG-13). Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford. 678-482-8788, www.mallofgeorgia.com.
  • Cumming’s July Fourth Celebration. Fireworks July 3rd at 9:30 p.m. Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Road, Cumming. Steam Engine Parade July 4th at 10:00 a.m. – Downtown square. www.cummingfair.net.
  • Dahlonega – Celebrate Independence Day in Dahlonega, Georgia on July 4th. Downtown Dahlonega & UNG Drill Field www.dahlonega.org
  • Duluth Celebrates America. July 3rd Celebration – Duluth Town Green. July 3rd from 6-9 p.m. www.duluth-ga.com.
  • Flowery Branch – Sterling on the Lake – July 5th. Music at 5:30 p.m., Fireworks at dusk. $15 per car for non-residents.
  • Hall County – Fourth of July Fireworks at Laurel Park  American Legion Fireworks Display – 3100 Old Cleveland Highway, Gainesville. $5 per car.
  • Helen – Fireworks planned for Friday July 4th 9:15 p.m., behind the Alpine Village Shoppes.www.helenga.org
  • Lake Lanier –  LanierWorld – 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford Ga. Fireworks at dark.www.discoverlakelanier.com/events/july-4th-celebration/
  • Lilburn – Sparkle in the Park Music, food and fireworks. A1A, the Jimmy Buffett Tribute Show, will have a family-friendly concert.  Bring a lawn chair or blanket. 5:30-10 p.m. Lilburn City Park, 76 Main St., Lilburn. www.cityoflilburn.com.
  • Norcross – Red, White & BOOM!. 4 p.m. block party. Live music at 6 p.m. Fireworks at dusk. July 3rd. Free. Lillian Webb Park, 5 College St., Norcross. 678-421-2000,www.norcrossga.net.
  • Roswell’s Annual July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza. Fireworks at dusk. July 4th.  Sweet Apple Elementary School – 12025 Etris Road.  www.roswellgov.com.
  • Sugar Hill – Sparks in the Park Fireworks. July 3rd from 6:30-11:30 p.m. EE Robinson Park.www.cityofsugarhill.com

 

Most importantly, whether you choose to celebrate Independence Day with a firework show of your own or go to a professional one be sure to have fun and enjoy the celebration of our freedom!