Residents prepare for July 4th activities

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June 29 — Chandler Road and York Street was a profitable location for the Muskogee Church youth fireworks booth.

“They were able to fund most of their youth activities for an entire year,” said Ellen Crager, an adult who helps at the booth.

The Nazarene Youth Group booth is one of many fireworks booths in the area.

Stalls will start selling more fireworks as Independence Day weekend approaches. This year, Independence Day falls on a Sunday.

However, there are safe ways to buy and shoot fireworks, says Jim Rhodes, youth safety educator for the 4-H Extension at Oklahoma State University.

“When you visit a fireworks booth, try to orient your children to age-appropriate products,” Rhodes said in a press release. “Of course, they’ll want the bigger items. That opens up the conversation about who turns on the fuses and how far away to stand.”

According to OSU Extension, parents should discuss fireworks and fire products that they can use with their children. For example, impact snappers should not be thrown near other people or animals. Children should also be careful with hand-held sparklers.

Recent rains could help control the grassland and garden fires, said Jim Weir, OSU’s associate extension specialist in the Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management.

According to a press release, Weir suggested keeping a garden hose or bucket nearby.

“Think about the areas where you’re going to light fireworks, what’s nearby, and the direction of the wind. Be aware of materials that can be flammable,” Weir said. “Fireworks should only be used outdoors in bright areas, away from structures and vehicles.”

The OSU extension says to extinguish exhausted fireworks with water and put them in a metal trash can away from combustible structures or materials.

Muskogee and several towns in the region have certain times when they can be legally busted.

Muskogee limits fireworks from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and only on July 4, Muskogee Police Officer Lynn Hamlin said.

“Minors are prohibited from unloading in the air unless they are with someone 18 years of age or older,” she said.

Residents of Fort Gibson can shoot fireworks from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. until Monday, city administrator Brian DeShazo said.

Checotah allows fireworks until 10 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays until July 6.

Wagoner will allow fireworks from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Several fireworks booths in the area are fundraisers for churches, sports teams or other organizations. The Fort Gibson fight has a fireworks display near Fort Quick Stop on Lee Street.

Crager said the Muskogee Church stand in a Homeland parking lot was often doing well.

“Last year we were full,” Crager said. “On July 4th, we sold. We basically had one box left that we sent back to the left.”

Fireworks in the area

Saturday

—9.30pm, from South Point Boat Ramp, Lake Eufaula.

—9.45pm Checotah Sports Complex, 989 N. Broadway, Checotah.

Sunday

—5:00 pm Celebration of Freedom, Muskogee First Assembly, 3100 Gulick Street. Fireworks at dusk.

– Doors open at 7:00 p.m., fireworks at 9:00 p.m., WL Odom Field, Wagoner.

—Approximately 9:15 pm, Fort Gibson High School football field.

When to shoot

Towns and villages in the region have the following regulations on when to shoot fireworks in their communities.

—Muskogee: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday only (July 4).

—Fort Gibson: 9 am to 11 pm through Monday.

—Checotah: until 10 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays until July 6.

—Wagoner: 10 am to 11 pm from Friday to Sunday.


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