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Celebrating independence with a bang: Fireworks go on sale Friday

June 23, 2011 at 1:23 a.m.
Updated June 30, 2011 at 1:30 a.m.

John Svoboda, operator of Alamo Fireworks, pulls out a Happiness Explosion, which when lit, produces a fountain of color and noise. The store will sell a variety of fireworks until midnight on July 4.

IF YOU GOThe city of Victoria's Fourth of July fireworks show begins with live music at 7 p.m. outside the Victoria Mall, 7800 N. Navarro St. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

PLAY IT SAFEIt pays to play it safe when shooting off fireworks. Here are a few safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

Use fireworks outdoors only.

Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, don't use them.

Always have water handy.

Only use fireworks as intended. Do not alter or combine them.

Never re-light a dud. Wait 20 minutes, and then soak it in water.

Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter. The shooter should wear safety glasses.

Alcohol and fireworks don't mix. Have a designated shooter.

Only people older than age 12 should handle sparklers of any kind.

Never use homemade fireworks made of illegal explosives. They can kill you.

Source: National Council on Fireworks Safety website

DID YOU KNOW?Fireworks are not legal within Victoria city limits, said Elaine Mayer, with the Victoria Fire Department's life safety division.

A person can face a fine up to $150 for possession of fireworks and a fine up to $200 for discharging them, she said.

With exception to some novelty items, sparklers are also illegal within city limits.

Aerial fireworks, including those with sticks and fins, are illegal in the county, but other varities remain legal Mayer added.

As Independence Day inches its way closer, grilling supplies, flags and other items boasting stars-and-stripes begin flying off shelves.

But fireworks also play a role in holiday celebrations.

Firework stands begin sales Friday, giving people a chance to ring in Independence Day with a bang.

Here, Crossroads residents weigh in on whether and how they plan to use fireworks this Fourth of July:

"We usually shoot them off, but won't this year. Even with the rain, it will be too dry."

- Ray Loving, 40, business owner, Raisin

"I will go watch them because they're so cool. I won't shoot them off, though. I'd be too scared to do it myself."

- Keyshawn Terrell, 8, Victoria

"We'll probably go watch the city show with my family. We live out in the country, and it's pretty dry. The city show is easier, too. You don't have to buy your own fireworks and it brings people together."

- Maegan Martin, 17, Cuero

"I plan to watch them, but not shoot them off. When I was a kid, I had a firework pop in my hand. It damaged my hearing. I learned my lesson that year."

- Feliz Sital, 57, oil field worker, Victoria

"We'll shoot them off. We usually buy about $200 worth of fireworks, and the whole family gets together to shoot them."

- Travis Johnston, 16, Victoria

"We won't shoot them off because of the burn ban. But we'll probably go out to watch the city's show."

- Lauren Heller, 17, Victoria



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