Welcome to the unofficial loudest weekend of the year.
No, we’re not talking about Wild West Festival music emanating from Municipal Park. With Monday being Independence Day, we’re referencing fireworks.
This weekend is the one annual time period residents are permitted to shoot off the pyrotechnics purchased at one of the many stands and storefronts set up earlier this week. Well, permissible if local governmental bodies decide it’s safe enough. With all the rain this area has been blessed with of late, both the city and county opted to allow fireworks in 2016.
“If we don’t take advantage of it with such a wet June, I can’t imagine a scenario where there would be a better opportunity to do it,” Ellis County Commissioner Barbara Wasinger said Thursday as that body overturned its earlier decision to ban them.
If you haven’t already heard the first bangs from your neighbors, it’s because they’re following the rules. The official timeframe to set off fireworks is from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
While the act of celebratory fireworks has been around for centuries, not everybody enjoys the loud noise accompanying the colorful displays. We would recommend finding as many indoor activities as possible this weekend — or at least when it appears multiple neighbors are shooting off fireworks at the same time. And remember, Tuesday will roll around soon enough.
For the young and young-at-heart ready to make the most of the three days, please be neighborly and follow common-sense precautions.
The Hays fire and police departments issued a list of safety tips earlier this week. Some of the highlights include:
• Have an adult supervise all fireworks use.
• Fireworks and alcohol use are not a good mix.
• Always use fireworks outdoors.
• Keep a garden hose or bucket of water handy in case of an accidental fire.
• Light only one firework at a time.
• Do not try to re-light malfunctioning fireworks.
• Thoroughly soak used fireworks before disposal.
• Have fun.
Actually that last item is one we added. The Fourth of July weekend is to be enjoyed. We encourage you to do so — just do it safely.
Editorial by Patrick Lowry