Skies will light up across southwest Kansas tonight, and, in Finney County at least, it's one of the last nights to do so.
Finney County, Garden City and Holcomb will allow the sale and discharge of fireworks from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. through July 5, with violations costing as much as $190 in fines and court fees. Bottle rockets and other skyrockets mounted on a stick and wire are not allowed even during the fireworks windows.
To stay safe this Independence Day, here’s some tips from the Garden City and Holcomb fire departments:
Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a “designated shooter.”
Never give fireworks to small children and adults should always supervise the use of fireworks by older children.
Never point fireworks at a person, building or animal.
Never reignite malfunctioning fireworks.
Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
Always purchase high quality fireworks from a reliable, legitimate source and don’t shoot off homemade fireworks. (They’re illegal).
Always have water nearby. When done, place fireworks, sparklers and other items in a bucket of water and let sit for 24 hours before discarding in trash bins.
There's plenty to do across the region. Here's your guide to the Fourth of July in and around Finney County:
Fourth festivities will be crackling from dawn to dusk in Finney County. Start the holiday early with a dash through the prairie at Sandsage Bison Range’s Bison Stampede 5K Run/Walk, which opens registration ($15) at 7:30 a.m. and begins at 8:30 a.m. The run through the property’s sandy road is not for the faint of heart, but there’s a chance you may encounter some of the preserve's smaller creatures up close. Following the race, sit down for the city’s Fourth of July Parade down downtown Main Street, hosted by Vets for Veterans. In the evening, locals can gather for free at the West Green of Lee Richardson Zoo to listen to the Garden City Municipal Band at 8 p.m. and watch fireworks shoot off after sundown.
Hugoton’s celebrations kick off early with Park Day at Hugoton City Park on Main Street. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., locals can watch a pageant for toddlers, cheer on turtle races, compete in sack races, egg tosses and ring tosses, bounce on inflatables and enjoy a variety of food vendors. That night, watch a fireworks display from the Hugoton High School football field.
The Lakin Recreation Commission will present a fireworks display after sundown at the North Ball Field Complex north of Lakin on K-25.
The local fire department will present a fireworks show beginning at dark on the south end of town.
Locals can enjoy bounce houses and a street dance serving barbecue on Main Street in Satanta before fireworks shoot off at sundown.
Locals can gather on the Scott Community High School football field for a fireworks display, beginning after dark.
Syracuse’s fireworks display will begin at dark near Sam’s Pond.
Independence Day begins with free swimming at the Greeley County Swimming Pool from 12:30 to 5 p.m. MT and a benefit dinner for a local resident in the hospital, running from 5 to 7 p.m. MT at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Locals are welcome to take meals to-go for farmers working on the wheat harvest. Fireworks start at dusk and can be seen from the Greeley County High School football field. Don’t miss free ice cream before the show at 8:30 p.m. MT.
Fireworks begin at dusk in Ulysses, shooting off near the Ulysses Airport. They can be seen throughout the town.