Leave the fireworks to the professionals

KINGMAN-This year's 4th of July celebration will take place at the Mohave County Fairgrounds, but you should be able to view the fireworks display from most central locations around town, said Fire Chief Chuck Osterman.

The display will begin between 9 and 9:30 p.m. or whenever the sky is dark enough.

This year's display costs around $22,000, $1,300 less than last year's fireworks. The money came out of the fire department budget, but there is talk of reverting back to taking it out of the City Council budget as had been the process several years ago, said City Manager Jack Kramer.

The Council had discussed the possibility of eliminating the fireworks in light of budget concerns, but decided the display was something the public would like to keep, Kramer said.

The display will feature 563 three-inch shells, 180 four-inch shells and 128 five-inch shells. Shells can travel more than 100 feet high for every inch in diameter, depending on the angle from which they are fired.

The fire department used to fire the display themselves some 20 years ago, Osterman said, but now the firing is done electronically by the vendor supplying the fireworks.

Falling debris from the display has ignited in some places around town the last few years, Osterman said, but nothing significant has resulted. The fire department will have extra crews on duty that night just in case.

People are reminded that fireworks are illegal in Arizona with the exception of certain sparklers and novelties like glow worms, toy pistol caps, snappers and party poppers.

A number of activities will take place starting at 3 p.m. at the fairgrounds, including a talent show, games and food. Admission to the fairground is $2. Parking is $1.