Planning to celebrate July 4th? Here are some firework safety tips and events around Garden City

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram

July 4 is Sunday and with that comes the sale and discharge of fireworks. 

Dates and times for the sale and discharge of fireworks in Finney County are different this year, they no longer coincide with each other. 

The sale of fireworks is permitted in Finney County from June 27 through July 5 and they can only be discharged from July 1-5 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Fireworks violations can lead to court fees of up to $190.

Gene Robertson, Garden City Fire Marshall, advises the community to take precautions while discharging fireworks during this time. 

"Be safe with the fireworks, they are explosive, they can cause bodily injury," he said. 

He recommends an adult older than 18, or older than 16, depending on how responsible they are, should be the person to light off the fireworks and they should only light off one at a time. 

Fireworks light up the sky above the Arkansas River bed south of Garden City during a past city fireworks display.  The annual Fourth of July display will be held Sunday night.

"Don't light up multiple fireworks because there could be a chance, with any firework that goes off, if part of that firework did backfire and hit somebody," he said.

Robertson said young children should not be let near fireworks and people should have an established safety zone of about 50 ft. around the fireworks so that if something does shoot off wrong and hits someone it may be partially out. 

Robertson said they don't see a lot of house fires due to fireworks, but they do see a number of trash fires after people gather up the remains of the fireworks, where some may still be hot or have embers, and place them in a trash container. 

The container then catches fire.

"We just advise people that if you're going to use the fireworks and collect up your trash pour a bucket of water over them so that way they're cool and they're out," he said. "Let them set up overnight and then throw them out in the morning."

Sand or dirt can also be used, Robertson said, there just needs to be some agent to keep the fire from spreading. 

Robertson also recommends that people be thoughtful of where they are shooting off the fireworks, specifically if they are shooting them off to an open field that's dry. 

"We had a few wheat field fires today (Monday), so that's why we kind of tell people to be really thoughtful about shooting fireworks off, especially out in the farmers fields or out in the county where there is open area," he said. "If one of those errant fireworks gets out in a wheat field it could be very devastating to that farmer and he could lose his crop and substantially quite a bit of money." 

Erinn Reyes, Garden City Police Department Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police, reminds people to not call 9-1-1 when it's not an emergency during the July 4 holiday weekend. 

"This is the time of year, especially with fireworks and Fourth of July we do get a lot of complaints, so just reminding people not to call 9-1-1 on those if it's not a life-threatening emergency," she said. 

Reyes said to call the GCPD's non-emergency number, 620-276-1300, to file a report about fireworks violations and to not report on their Facebook page as it's not monitored 24/7.

"Even it turns out to be nothing whether its' fireworks or any kind of non-emergency, just call it in, there's no problem with that," she said. "If it's not a life-threatening emergency or any non-emergency, don't call 9-1-1, please don't do that."

Some fireworks safety tips include: 

  • Read and follow label instructions on fireworks.
  • Alcohol and fireworks don't mix, have a "designated shooter" for the fireworks.
  • Wear eye protection while lighting fireworks.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. Do not carry them in pockets. 
  • Don't try to relight fireworks that are malfunctioning.
  • Never aim fireworks at a person, building or animal.
  • Don't lean any body part over fireworks.

For a more comprehensive list of fireworks safety tips visit the Garden City Fire Department's Facebook page at facebook.com/GCKSFire.

Garden City July 4 activities: 

  • Garden City's fireworks display will start at approximately 9:45 p.m. and can be viewed from the Finney County exhibition building parking lot or the Lee Richardson Zoo. 
  • The Municipal Band will hold a concert on the West Green at Lee Richardson Zoo, with the concert beginning at 8 p.m. There will be free vehicle admission from 6-8 p.m. Attendees are welcome to stay after the concert to watch the fireworks show. The zoo closes at 7 p.m.
  • Garden Rapids at The Big Pool will be open for it's regular Sunday hours, 1-6 p.m. Admission is free with the proper identification to active military and veterans. 

The Finney County Historical Museum will be closed July 4 and 5 and there will be no Fulton House tours on Sunday, however there will still be tours on Saturday from 2-4 p.m.

On Saturday at Stevens Park, there will be a free screening of the movie "Coco".   Garden City Parks and Recreation Director Aaron Stewart said the screening is to make up for the movie night at Garden Rapids which was canceled due to lightening earlier this season.