Fourth stuff

The Fourth of July is tomorrow. Before you celebrate Independence Day, here’s some heads up about local events and some tips to keep yourself and your pets safe.

Events

Georgetown’s annual parade, put on by the Scott County Kiwanis Club, will begin at 11 a.m. The parade will begin on Military Street near Saint John’s Church and will go past Georgetown College and down Main Street. The theme for this years parade is “Celebrating America.” Former County Judge-Executive George Lusby will be the parade’s grand marshal.

 Following the parade, there will be festivities at Brooking Park with vendors and music all afternoon. A firework display will go on at about 9:30 p.m., when it gets dark. The fireworks are expected to last 20 to 25 minutes.

The Scott County Civil Air Patrol will be making their community debut as the leading unit of the parade.

 Immediately after the parade, the local chapter of the American Legion will be holding a birthday celebration for the 100th anniversary of the organization at Royal Spring Park. There will be a ceremony featuring the American Legion’s honor guard who will conduct a 21-gun salute and play “Taps.” Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather and County Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington will both attend and speak at the event. Singer Bob Griffin, will perform. There will be free hot dogs and drinks available to the public. The American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, the Sons of the American Legion, and the American Legion Veterans will all bring displays. The American Legion Riders will be giving balloons and candy to children at the event.

Stamping Ground will be having their Stars and Stripes parade at 3 p.m. as part of their annual Old Glory Celebration. Floats will gather in the Edgewood subdivision at 2:45 p.m. There will be a float contest with prizes awarded for ‘Best Patriotic Float’ and ‘Best Law Enforcement Float.’ There will be a cookout at Buffalo Springs Park following the parade at 4 p.m. Food will not be provided, so attendees must bring their own.

Historic Ward Hall will also be open for public tours for the holiday. The greek-style mansion will be open for tours between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Regular admission prices for tours are $7 for adults, $5 for ages 12 to 18 and free for children under 12.

Be safe and smart

Before you go out, fireworks blazing, you should know the local rules around fireworks so you don’t run into trouble.

Local laws state that fireworks may only be used between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., with exceptions for Dec. 31, July 3, and July 4, when fireworks may be used until midnight. No person under the age of 18 may possess or use fireworks. Fireworks may not be used within 200 feet of any structure, motor vehicle or other person. If you use fireworks you are responsible for disposing of any trash or debris.

According to The National Safety Council, “Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires.” The council provides the following tips to prevent harm from fireworks:

— Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Older children should use them only under close adult supervision

— Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol

— Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear

— Never hold lit fireworks in your hands

— Never light them indoors

— Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material

— Never point or throw fireworks at another person

— Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting

— Never ignite devices in a container

— Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks

— Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding

— Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire

— Never use illegal fireworks

The NSC recommends people leave the fireworks displays to the professionals, but urge people to follow these tips if they choose to use fireworks themselves.

Watch out for your pets

“The Fourth of July is notorious for pets getting lost,” said Dr. Katie Xu of the Central Kentucky Veterinary Center.

The sounds and brightness of fireworks can spook and cause anxiety in pets, especially dogs, said Xu. She recommends the following tips to keep your dog safe on Independence Day:

— Make sure your dogs’ microchips are up-to-date

— Exercise your dogs earlier in the day, so come evening they’ll be tired

— Keep your dogs inside during the fireworks. Xu recommends keeping your dogs in a windowless room, or one with the windows covered, and playing soft music or T.V.

— Consider not taking your pets out with you to see the fireworks, as they could get startled and run off

— If your pet needs medication for anxiety, contact your vet as soon as possible. Central Kentucky Veterinary Center will be closed for the holiday on the Fourth, Xu said.

“I always say people know their pets better than their vet does,” said Xu. “These are just some good ways to keep your dog safe on the Fourth of July.”

Noah Oldham can be reached at noldham@news-graphic.com.

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