|Corrigan Times - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Remember firework safety for the Fourth of July
CORRIGAN — WIth the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, it is time to remember some safety tips for the fi rework celebration. With Fireworks are synonymous with summer. They mark special occasions, festivals and warm-weather holidays like Independence Day. When handled by professionals, fi reworks can be quite the spectacle. However, if lit by amateurs, fi reworks can be very risky. Though they offer awe-inspiring views, fi reworks can be dangerous. According to data collected in 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 7,000 people in the United States were treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained from fi reworks during the period of June 20 to July 20, 2008. Nearly half of all people injured were children under the age of 15. Most injuries occurred to young people under the age of 20. Fireworks injuries often occur around the injured patients' homes, and fi reworks injuries require hospitalization far more often than injuries that do not involve fi reworks. All types of fi reworks have an inherent danger, even sparklers. Sparklers burn at more than 1,000 degrees and can ignite clothing very quickly. Those who take an active role in the lighting and shooting of fi reworks are more prone to injury. The most common injuries include burns and injuries to the eyes caused by cuts and foreign objects lodged in the eyes. Although fi reworks injuries are common, they also are largely preventable. The following are a few safety tips aimed at helping people avoid injury when enjoying fi reworks displays. • Keep your distance. It is important for all people watching fi reworks to keep their distance from explosives. Even the bestmade fi reworks can sometimes veer off course and fl y into spectators. The further the distance away the display is, the better chance for safety. * Avoid amateurs. Professional fi reworks companies know the ins and outs of fi reworks and often have safety procedures in place. Fireworks may be ignited remotely by a computer or an electronic fuse device, keeping people away from ground zero. An amateur may not have the dexterity or skills to get away from the lit fi rework in time. When enjoying fi reworks, just make sure the person putting on the show is a professional. * Exercise caution around fi reworks. Some people construct their own fi reworks from spare parts or try to up the ante by adding an accelerant to achieve a bigger boom. These practices are dangerous and can lead to highly unpredictable explosions. It's never good to make your own fi reworks show, but if you fi nd yourself at a party where someone is experimenting with fi reworks, exercise extreme caution. Fireworks can be a fun spectacle when handled by professionals in a safe manner. Families can consider watching a city- or town-sponsored fi reworks display instead of risking injury with at-home pyrotechnics. Those in the Polk County existarea will not have far to travel for entertainment July 4 weekend. The Alabama Coushatta Music Festival and Fireworks will be July 5, next to the Special Events Center on State Park Road 56. "The fi reworks display will begin at 9. o'clock at night and they're going to have different arts and craft vendors and different bands," Public Information Director Sharon Miller said. "Tribal dancers will begin at approximately 7 p.m." Patrons are asked to bring lawn chairs, as seating is limited. There will be native crafts, native food and contemporary food. It is an alcohol free event and admission is free. Bands performing will be Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers, Collaboration Band, Paul's Journey and Southern Revolution Band. Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers have released four albums and have performed across the nation at festivals and on television. Collaboration Band is a collection of fi ve musicians, who have banded together to bring dance and party music. Paul's Journey is a full-time Gospel Music Ministry started over 35 years ago, with four young men who are all related. They travel about 200 days per year nationwide to present a program that promises to be uplifting to the soul. Southern Revolution Band was established in January 2000, playing a wide variety of music from their originals and covers. Those looking for fireworks on the Fourth of July can find them in Moscow, says event coordinator June Parrish. "It will be in what is referred to as Moscow Schoolyard Park," Parrish said. "Coming from Livingston, you would turn left on Loop 177. You make a left turn and follow the loop a quarter of a mile. The park is on your right and you can park all the way around the park, either on the loop or on the backside of it, too." Parish estimates the fireworks have been a Fourth of July practice for about 10 years. "Another way to tell that you are there, is there's a stone fence all around the park," she said. "We have a real neat park were the old school was. It's where the first male and female academy was established in the state of Texas in 1836. It was done by the Masonic organization and the stone fence is original. The state has a historical marker on the fence." Parrish said refreshments will be served before the show begins. We're going to have soft drinks and watermelon. The watermelons will be sliced in big chunks, like five slices to each watermelon. They will be $2 a piece and a dollar for the soft drink. That's all the food we're having; the fireworks are free and they usually last 30 or 40 minutes. Everything starts at 7:30 and the fireworks start when it begins getting dark. We don't wait until it's completely dark, because we have a lot of little kids. Parrish said those attending should bring chairs or other items to be comfortable. There are a few tables, but those requiring a table may bring their own. In Onalaska, the yearly fireworks spectacular will continue as always. There is lots of activity getting ready for the 4th of July fireworks at Onalaska for the 37th year. Those who wish to send a few dollars to help pay for this fine show, please make your check payable to the Fireworks Fund and send to P.O. Box 880, Onalaska, Texas 77360. Activities start at 6 p.m. and fireworks will begin at 9:15 or dusk. There will be music, a free bounce house and maybe a waterslide. Watermelon and iced water will be served. There will be tents for shade and you are welcome to bring your chairs to watch the show. There will also be Fireman's Water Polo match. You are invited to bring swimming gear.