Communities offer safe and sane July 4th celebrations

Fire departments prepare to enforce “Safe and Sane” fireworks laws, steep fines for violations

TULARE COUNTY – Amid celebrations over Fourth of July weekend, fire departments are on duty to make sure the fireworks are safe and legal.

The Tulare County Fire Department will be enforcing “Safe and Sane” fireworks laws throughout the weekend. All legal fireworks have the fire marshall’s seal on the packaging indicating they can be used in the state of California in designated areas.

Tulare County Chief Charlie Norman said that individuals using illegal fireworks will be issued a citation and a fine starting at $1,000 for the first offense. Repeated offenses can result in up to $50,000 in fines and possible jail time. Any resulting fires or injuries can mean extended jail time.

Those using fireworks should be extremely careful because the chance of starting a fire is extremely high due to the current dry weather conditions. When setting off fireworks it is important to clear away dry vegetation and other combustible materials and have water on standby.

There will be a variety of safe and family-friendly events taking place across the county.

  • The Independence Day celebrations begin in Porterville with Freedom Fest at the Porterville Sports Complex on July 2. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the event will end at 9:30 p.m. The cost of admission is per carload. Pre-purchased passes will cost $15 and day-of passes will cost $20. Preferred parking is available for $25. The event will have vendors and a performance by George the Giant, the world’s tallest sword swallower. Fireworks will begin at 9 p.m.
  • Woodlake will host its July 3 blast at Woodlake City Park beginning at 6 p.m. The event is completely free and includes a kids’ blast zone, train rides, waterslides, food vendors and beer trucks. There will be a concert featuring Morgan Evans from 7:30-9. After the concert there will be a fireworks show.
  • The Exeter Lions Club will host their Independence Celebration on July 3 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m at Exeter City Park. The event will feature horse shoes, cornhole, vendors, food and a concert. Fireworks begin at dusk. The event has no entry fee.
  • The Kiwanis Club of Tulare will have their 55th annual fireworks show at the Tulare County Fairgrounds beginning at 6 p.m on July 3. Admission is $5 and children 5 years old and under will get in for free. As well as fireworks, the event features sno-cones, kettle corn and other food.
  • The Great American Race will take place the morning of July 4 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m beginning at Riverway Sports Park in Visalia. The cost to enter is $35-$45 for either the 5K race or the 10K race. There will also be a costume contest. 1st Place male and female in the 5k and 10k will receive a box of fireworks. All finishers will receive a medal. The event also includes popsicles, snacks, hot dogs and root beer. There are only 500 spots. After the race there will be live music from the GenFM cover band.
  • The Visalia Rawhide play the Lake Elsinore Storm at home on July 4 at 7pm. The first 250 fans will receive a free pint glass from Budweiser. There will also be a fireworks show. Tickets start at $17.

Fireworks that are not designated “Safe and Sane” include mortar-style fireworks, Roman Candles and bottle rockets. Information about which types of fireworks are considered dangerous can be found in Section 12505 of the California Health and Safety Code. Fires from illegal fireworks can lead to injury and potential loss of life. Residents are encouraged to report the use of illegal fireworks.

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