LUMBERTON — With the approach of the July Fourth weekend, Robeson County Sheriff Ken Sealey is asking resident to join him in making it a happy, enjoyable and safe time for all.
“Robeson County citizens should remember that fireworks, as enjoyable as they are to watch, can be dangerous and should only be handled by professionals or responsible adults,” Sealey said.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission, there are nearly 9,000 emergency room-treated injuries associated with fireworks every year.
Following are fireworks safety tips:
— Never give fireworks to small children and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
— Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
— Make sure the person lighting the fireworks wears eye protection.
— Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight a “dud.”
— Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
— Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
— Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
— Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
The best advice might be simply to let professionals handle the fireworks. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the county, beginning tonight with Lumberton’s annual Family Fourth Celebration, to just sit back and enjoy.
The stadium at Lumberton High opens at 6 p.m., though the entertainment won’t begin until 7:30, followed by fireworks at 9:30. Tailgaters and others looking for the best seats will need to arrive early, said Tim Taylor, city liaison to the Community Relations Commission that organizes the show. Danny Britt is serving as the commission chairman this year.
Inside the stadium vocalist Rob Propes will offer a gospel/patriotic music mix leading up to the fireworks show, and the Robeson County Firemen’s Association will present the colors for the playing of the national anthem. The Golden Knights will perform a parachute freefall demonstration and the North Carolina Children’s Theatre will perform a “Kickin’ Country Fourth.” The Lumberton High School Marching Band will utilize the event as a fundraiser by selling concessions, and the Lumberton Rescue Squad will raffle off a golf cart
Other county celebrations are as follows.
Festivities will begin Friday at 7 a.m. with a Bike-A-Thon for St. Jude’s Hospital, followed by a parade at 10 a.m., a gospel sing at 11:30 a.m., a basketball tournament at 2 p.m. and four pageants at 5:30. The day will conclude at 9 p.m. with a fireworks display.
Parkton will hold its 47th annual Independence Day Parade and Celebration on Friday, beginning with the parade at 11 a.m., followed by a variety of activities.
Fran Meinert, event chairman for the Parkton Ruritan Club that sponsors the celebration, said more than 100 units will participate in the parade, including a fully restored 1945 Jeep and a National Guard band.
Vendors will offer hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, flavored shaved ice and more. A live outdoor concert will feature a regional area beach music band; and a variety of games will be played, including a watermelon scramble.
Lumbee Regional Development Association officials combine Lumbee Homecoming and Fourth of July celebrations over an eight-day stretch that began this morning with the Redbreast Fishing Tournament, and will end with a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday at the LRDA Events Field.
In between there will be four beauty pageants; golf, wrestling, tennis, swimming and basketball tournaments; a 5K run; a parade; and a live, outdoor concert. The concert begins at 6 p.m. Food and drink vendors will be scattered around the different venues throughout the eight-day celebration.
Maxton’s celebration will be held from 4 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday at Beachum Park, located off of Austin Street.
The event will include food, games and entertainment for all ages. A fireworks display will be held at dusk.