TIFTON — The country will be celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence 243 years ago this Thursday.
Events are scheduled around the south Georgia area to mark the occasion, beginning on Thursday and running through Saturday.
Thursday, July 4:
— Firecracker Festival, Enigma City Park. Fireworks begin at dusk.
— July 4th Fireworks, 7 p.m. at Paulk Park. Concert by Southern Confessional.
— Barber-Tucker House July 4th Party, 5 p.m. Naturally Southern Band will play on the front porch. Bring a chair, beverage and side dish.
— July 4th Splish and Splash Bash, 5 p.m. at Sunset Country Club.
— Nashville July 4th Festivities, noon at the city park. Fireworks start after dark.
— Rockin Roland Jumpin J’s 4th of July Celebration, noon at the Valdosta Mall.
— Sparks in the Park, 9:23 p.m. at Moody Air Park, Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta.
— Wild Adventures Fireworks, July 4-5.
— Thomasville Fourth of July Fireworks and Festivities, 6:30 p.m. at Remington Park, Thomasville. Free activities and concert by the Michael Miller Band. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m.
— 37th Annual Independence Day Celebration Concert and Fireworks Show, 6 p.m. at McConnell-Talbert Stadium. Featuring Better Than Ezra.
Friday, July 5:
— City of Sylvester Fireworks Celebration featuring The Giving End and fireworks, 6 p.m. at the H.H. Woolard Center.
Saturday, July 6:
— Tifton Veterans Museum opening, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The museum of located next to the Tifton Railway Museum (120 Tift Ave. S.)
— Uncle Sam’s Benefit Jam, 7 p.m. at the Tift Theatre. Concert features Stillwater and Wet Willie and proceeds go towards Ruth’s Cottage and The Patticake House and Tift County Department of Family and Children Services.
Most of the events will feature food, music and, of course, fireworks.
The National Safety Council recommends leaving fireworks to the professionals, but if anyone chooses to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:
• Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
• Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
• Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
• Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
• Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
• Never light them indoors.
• Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material.
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
• 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 both spent and 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.
• Never use illegal fireworks.
The NSC also reminds everyone that sparklers, which are popular with young children, are very dangerous.
Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.
Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.