The skinny on pyrotechnics
By Ken De Laat
You’re kidding right?
Given how the seasonal tent covered venues that have popped up throughout the region and not one, but two brick & mortar fireworks stores gracing the landscape in Newaygo and White Cloud one might surmise a glut of pyrotechnical merchandise availability.
But there are many reports coming out proclaiming a shortage. They say these popup shops will be depleted before the Big Day even arrives. A conundrum?
Well, we’ll see.
My hunch is those seeking to revel in the experience of bombs bursting in air have already scored a stash of explosives.
Assuming there will be no dearth of noisemakers here are a few items to consider as we celebrate birthday #245.
Saturday the skies will light up at Fremont Lake and in Croton, both optimum spots for catching some righteous 'works.
Sunday the action shifts to Hesperia where the light show will culminate their July 4th weekend celebration (think parade, beer tent, arts & crafts show, horseshoes, arm wrestling, food vendors, music and did I mention beer tent?)
And should you be on Hess Lake there will be the traditional Ring of Fire on Sunday, but since fireworks erupt from many sites you can count on Saturday (as well as Friday and likely Monday) having their fair share of light and noise shows as well.
Speaking of Noise…
Not everyone loves this part of the holiday. Veterans who have served in combat can be less than enthusiastic about large explosions to be sure. Particularly the noise from those whistling bottle rockets that sound way too familiar.
And then of course, there are our four-legged friends.
I recall my last dog Shotgun, an exemplary animal in so many ways, and yet this quintessential quadruped gifted with a Zenlike demeanor and an ample supply of stoicism would transform into a quivering mass of anxiety once the fireworks began. Whether he was in the house, out of the house, on a leash, sitting on my lap it didn’t matter.
Earlier this year when doing a story on the CBD Store of Michigan in Fremont, owner Rod Glupker mentioned how the product has helped our loyal friends who have no clue why the skies are exploding. We reached out to him and this is what he told us:
“More dogs go missing during the 4th of July than any other time of the year. CBD can help a pet stay calm. It helps dogs, cats, Livestock and any mammal with stress and anxiety. At CBD Store of Michigan, you can find treats or tinctures for any size dog, cat or horse and everything in between. Some people even leave CBD out for the woodland creatures. Rabbits, Squirrels, Chipmunks and Deer also have anxiety this time of year.”
Fireworks Got Laws?
Yes, believe it or not there are laws regarding firework usage.
Here is some info from our Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department:
“As we prepare for the holiday weekend, here’s a friendly reminder that state law states that fireworks are allowed daily until 11:45 PM. State law allows fireworks beginning June 29th thru July 4th and on the 5th as well, if the 5th falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Any questions concerning your local fireworks ordinance(s) should be directed to your local municipality. We hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!”
And Be Careful Out There!
Last year nationwide both injuries and fatalities from fireworks were up 50% from 2019. Possibly the COVID related cancellation of larger shows created the perfect storm of more amateurs taking on the pyrotechnical responsibilities but let’s all use a little common sense and remember these tips from our friends at the DNR:
Toss fireworks and sparklers into a bucket of water when finished.
Sky lanterns, also popular on holidays, essentially become litter. They leave wires where they land that can entangle wildlife, and they can also start wildfires.