4th of July

Every summer on the National Mall, in the heart of the nation's capital, there's a free public event — a series of fireworks for all to see.

It's America's annual explosive celebration ... of safety.

It's the Consumer Product Safety Commission's day to blow up mannequins.

This year, it was observed on June 27.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Sean Callahan didn't think twice about driving to Key Largo to get fireworks. He had to. The warehouse there carries hundreds of multi-shot fireworks — some that can't be found in Miami-Dade County.

After weaving in and out of rows of sparklers, Roman candles and artillary shells, a smiling Callahan rolled his $800 cartload of rockets and mortar shells into his car.

“I’m really just a big kid – they’re all for me,” he said proudly.  

Independence Day is dedicated to patriotism, but celebrated with beer and explosives. So it might not be a shock that every Fourth of July, America sees a massive spike in fireworks injuries — especially among children and young men.

Fourth of July In Miami Gardens ... Nigerian Style

Jul 5, 2016
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

At the Betty T. Ferguson Recreation Center in the heart of Miami Gardens, a couple hundred people came out to play, compete in flag football and basketball, step, and watch the Fourth of July activities ... all with a Nigerian Twist.

 

 

The City of Miami-Gardens partnered with the Edo association of Florida for an all day event.

Moffat Mugwe

Health officials are asking soon-to-be revelers to remember that fireworks are much safer from a distance.

According to statistics compiled by the Florida Department of Health, 56 South Floridians visited the emergency room because of firework accidents last year. Sixteen of those individuals had injuries that were bad enough to require an overnight stay.

The most common injuries were severe burns, though more serious accidents can happen.

Jennifer Bruner spent her 4th of July much like the rest of us: celebrating with friends at a backyard barbecue. Little did she know how her life would change in a matter of seconds on that fateful evening.

"I went over to a friend's house for a barbecue on the 4th of July," Bruner recalls, "And my friends were out on the pier lighting fireworks. One firework tipped over when it was lit and it was supposed to shoot up, but it went sideways shooting at me and this little girl."

Lost On The 4th? A Roundup of Displays In South Florida

Jul 4, 2013
Bob B. Brown/Flickr

The midsummer heat and humidity in South Florida means celebrating Independence Day is not for the faint of heart. But, the sweat and dehydration is all worth it when nightfall comes, and we get to sit back and watch fireworks crack and sparkle over brilliant skylines and dark, reflecting waters. South Florida is definitely a great place to watch fireworks.