Flash! Boom! Sizzle! Soon area residents will begin seeing flashes of decorative lights across the night sky and hear the kabooms as the sales of fireworks get underway in celebration of the United States of America's 243rd birthday. 

Several celebrations will be held in the area and emergency services personnel throughout the county remind everyone to practice safety above all. 

The City of Independence Fireworks show will be July 4 at 9:30 p.m. with the show being shot from just north of Kiddy Land in Riverside Park. There will be no viewing areas near the shoot site but the show will be visible from many viewing locations around the park and city. According to show organizer Jim Kelly, special Fourth of July music will accompany the 2019 Fireworks Spectacular on Indy 102.9 FM beginning at 9:29 p.m.

Kelly said the show will be shot by the same company organizers have used for several years, Rainbow Fireworks, of Inman. Funds for the show were raised from donations from local businesses and individuals. Kelly said they are still seeking $5,800 in funds before the July 4 show. Contributions may be made to Community Foundation for Independence-Fireworks Fund, ? Jim Kelly, Community National Bank & Trust, P.O. Box 687, Independence, KS 67301 or they can be dropped off at either Independence location of CNB&T. The entity is a 501(c)3 foundation.

Grab the family, some chairs and/or blankets, and head down to Riverside Park where a free watermelon feed will be held at the Oval at Riverside Park at 7 p.m. The rides and miniature golf will be open from 1 to 8:30 p.m. and the Mid-Continent Band will perform a Patriotic Musical Celebration at Hille Band Shell at 8 p.m. 

The City's fireworks display can be seen from anywhere in the park. Park officials remind guests the shooting of fireworks are prohibited in the park and Ralph Mitchell Zoo.

The American Legion Post 139 will hold their Family 4th of July Celebration Saturday, July 6 beginning at 2 p.m. Activities include inflatables and yard games and food will be provided. A fireworks show will begin at dusk so bring lawn chairs and join the fun.

Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison spoke with IDR about rules and regulations for selling and shooting fireworks in city limits. "Fireworks can be ignited inside the city from July 1 through July 3 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on July 4 from 9 a.m. until midnight," Harrison said.

He notes area where fireworks are prohibited: 

  • On any city street 
  • In any part of Ralph Mitchell Zoo, Riverside Park or the cemetery
  • In any city owned parking lot
  • On any city property

 

No fireworks are allowed inside the Fire Limits. The Fire Limits consists of a box that is bordered by the following:

  • Maple from 5th west to 9th
  • Maple north on 9th to Myrtle
  • Myrtle east to 8th
  • 8th north to Chestnut
  • Chestnut east to 6th
  • 6th south to Myrtle
  • Myrtle east to 5th
  • 5th south to Maple

 

Harrison listed some more 4th of July safety tips:

  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire

 

"Better yet, grab a blanket and let the the experts handle the show," Harrison said with a smile. "We ask folks to be considerate of their neighbors and their property and to handle fireworks safely and keep a close eye on kids."