Fourth of July is a time for fun and safety

This weekend is cause for celebration. Not only is it Independence Day but the weather will be absolutely perfect for outside gatherings.

For the first time in a long time, a sweater and blanket may actually not be necessary to enjoy fireworks lighting up the night sky.

Keep in mind, however, that fun and safety must go hand in hand for the weekend to not go awry.

First off, just because alcohol, tobacco and firearms are overseen by the same federal agency doesn’t necessarily mean they should be mixed in real life.

If you plan on drinking, allow someone else the privilege of handling the matchstick, long-stemmed lighter or whatever you use to light the fireworks fuse. Liquor — even in light amounts — can impair dexterity and judgement.

No matter who is in charge of the fireworks show, plan to have a bucket of water and/or a water hose at the ready. Once a firework is lit, it takes on a life of its own, traveling this way and that in a rather willy-nilly fashion. No amount of yelling, screaming or pleading can prevent it from landing in your neighbor’s chicken coop.

So be prepared.

The safest, least expensive alternative for a fireworks show is to leave it to the professionals.

For those who’d rather see the sparks on July 3, the Fireworks on the Fjord show should begin about 10:20 p.m., over Liberty Bay.

The more traditional folks can soak in a show in Kingston at Mike Wallace Park at dusk.

Whatever you choose — be it a professional or personal fireworks show — have a safe, sane Fourth of July.

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