Independence Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 4, 2023, and there will be various activities for Great Falls and surrounding communities to enjoy.
The annual Great Falls Independence Day parade will begin at 11 a.m. starting at the south side of the Civic Center.
Black Eagle will also host an Independence Day parade; it, too, starts at 11:00 a.m. It will begin at the Black Eagle Country Club and end at the Black Eagle Community Center, and is organized by the Black Eagle Volunteer Fire Department.
The annual Independence Day picnic in Black Eagle is not happening this year, however. The BEVFD said: "We were not able to get enough volunteers to put the event on. We want to thank all of our past community volunteers and donors for their patronage and assistance."
Immediately following the Great Falls parade, the free "Fourth of July Hootenanny" concert will start with headliner Morgan Evans. It will be along Central Avenue near Fifth Street.
There will also be a street festival with music, food trucks, and more.
Later in the evening, the community is invited to attend the Great Falls Voyagers’ baseball game at 6pm. After the game, there will be a fireworks show at the stadium.
The City fireworks show usually begins between 10:20 p.m. and 10:35 p.m., originating from Elks Riverside Park.
An important thing to consider when approaching Independence Day is fire safety. Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention Mike McIntosh is focused on educating the community on fire safety tips as the holiday approaches.
“There’s a really cool program going around the country called ‘The Bucket Brigade’,” said McIntosh. “We want everyone that is setting off fireworks to have a bucket of water next to them and to make sure once they shoot off the fireworks, they soak it in the bucket of water to make sure it is all good and out.”
Primary rules and regulations regarding fireworks in Great Falls city limits:
- Discharging fireworks within Great Falls city limits can only take place on July 2, 3, and 4 from 8:00 a.m. until midnight.
- Children 9 and younger must have a supervising adult within 10 feet, in order to control the application of flame or other means to discharge the firework.
- Residents should only discharge fireworks on private property (sidewalk leading to your residence and or driveway)
- Always clean up any trash that is left behind from the discharging of fireworks.
Fireworks Safety Tips
- Read Directions – Read the cautionary labels and directions before discharging.
- Discharge Outdoors – Always use fireworks outside in a clear area, away from buildings and vehicles.
- Keep Fireworks away from Others - Never point or throw fireworks at another person or place any part of your body directly over a firework when lighting the fuse.
- One at a Time - Light fireworks one at a time, then move back to a safe distance quickly.
- Have Water Handy! – Have a bucket of water or a water hose nearby to prevent a possible fire. Always remember to douse discharged fireworks with water once they have completely burned before throwing the fireworks away to prevent a trash fire.
- Adult Supervision - A responsible adult should always closely supervise all fireworks activities. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Clean it Up - Always clean up used fireworks when finished (make sure they are doused with water!).
- Prevent Injury – Fireworks should never be carried in a pocket or be shot off in metal or glass containers. Fireworks should be used on a solid, flat level surface. Never use altered fireworks. Not only are they dangerous, they can also be illegal.
- Sparklers - Sparklers can burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees. Parents may not realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers.
- It Didn’t Light - If a firework does not work, leave it alone. Do not try to relight it. Pour water on it.
- Buying Fireworks – Purchase fireworks only from reliable outlets. Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper or packaging. This is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
Remember that not everyone loves fireworks. Be a good neighbor and be sensitive to others when choosing to discharge them. Fireworks can disrupt those sleeping, scare pets, and can be an issue for military veterans.
Justin Grohs, manager of Great Falls Emergency Services, also noted the dangers of sparklers: “Sparklers are a lot of times underrated as far as how dangerous they are. One study showed that 25% of all fireworks injuries are related to sparklers. And we think of sparklers as pretty benign, but especially when it comes to kids. About half of all fireworks injuries are related to sparklers. So, not bottle rockets, not firecrackers, but sparklers. So it's worth being especially careful about those little kids."
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