110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Pat Andrews
posted Jul 3, 2013 - 1:37:09pm
They say only crazy people and Yankees try to predict the weather in Florida. The National Weather Service and Weather Underground feel obliged to, however, and we'll report their outlook for the Fourth of July: not so rainy.
Today's forecast, for July 3, continues the soggy saga, with 70 percent chance of rain and storms forming this afternoon. Tomorrow's prediction brings the rain chance down to 30 percent, mostly in the afternoon, so perhaps the skies will be clear for Fourth of July fireworks in DeBary, Deltona, Pierson and Lake Helen.
Leave the fireworks to the pros, Volusia County Fire Services Interim Chief Jeff Smith urged.
“The safest way to enjoy fireworks is by watching public displays,” Smith said. “Although we’ve received some much-needed rain in the past month, we still caution residents from using fireworks because they can cause fire and injuries.”
A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission showed that fireworks were involved in 9,600 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2011. Sparklers, firecrackers and aerial devices caused the most incidents.
Only sparklers are legal for consumer usage in Florida. But even sparklers carry an inherent risk of injury.
“A lit sparkler can reach up to 1,800 degrees,” Smith noted. “Placing one of these items in a child’s hands is extremely dangerous.”
According to Florida statutes, any pyrotechnics that leave the ground or explode are illegal for recreational use, unless handled by a professional. However, Florida law allows anyone over 18 to purchase fireworks by signing a waiver in which he or she agrees to use the purchase to scare animals from farms or fish hatcheries.
Signing a waiver will not clear anyone caught using fireworks illegally, which is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, Smith said.
Here's a reminder of events, including fireworks shows, on the Fourth:
• Lake Helen will kick-start Fourth of July celebrations with a parade starting at 10 a.m. at Wells Fargo Bank, 520 W. Main St. The parade will head north on Summit Avenue, east on New York Avenue, then south on Lakeview Drive to Ohio Avenue. It will be followed by a horse show and events at Lake Helen Equestrian Facility. Then, festivities pick up at Royal Park at 6 p.m., with fireworks at 9 p.m. Musical entertainment will be provided, and visitors can enjoy the grounds of the state park, as well.
• In DeBary, "Freedom and Fireworks" takes place at Gemini Springs Park at 37 Dirksen Drive, starting at 5 p.m., with fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Visitors can enjoy the lovely grounds and musical entertainment during the evening.
• Deltona's ninth annual Fireworks Extravanga at Dewey O. Boster Sports Complex at 1200 Saxon Blvd. starts at 6 p.m., with fireworks starting at 9:15 p.m.
• Pierson's third annual "Family Fun Celebration" begins at 4 p.m. on Chipper Jones Ball Field at the corner of Washington Avenue and U.S. Highway 17. Fireworks will start at 9 p.m.
All the celebrations are free, and they will offer family events, entertainment and food vendors.
The comments posted below are posted by readers, not by The Beacon staff. These comments express the views and opinions of the authors, and not the administrators, moderators or webmaster. The comments forum is governed by these rules. Please use the report abuse link if you find offensive comments.
Did you find this story interesting or informative? Subscribe to The West Volusia Beacon to read more stories by Pat Andrews, along with others from our award-winning writers. Subscribe now!