A year ago, with Logan County in the grip of a heat wave that would last seven months, the Fourth of July was effectively cancelled with the use of fireworks banned by Logan County Judge Gus Young, public outdoor events shortened or called off.
That’s not likely this year. With rainfall totals at near normal levels, fireworks shows that were dead last year are coming back and the first of three in northern Logan County take place Saturday. Also, the sale of fireworks have come back.
Independence Day will be celebrated Thursday, July 4.
The Paris Assembly of God Church has a fireworks stand on East State Highway 22, just outside the Paris city limits. Proceeds from sales are used in the church’s Speed the Light program, a youth-initiated effort benefiting overseas missionaries.
"We’re off to a very good start," said Jordan Snow, Youth Pastor at the Paris Assembly of God Church. "It’s a lot better than last year."
Although you can purchase fireworks, their use inside city limits remains a violation of a city ordinance.
The best way to enjoy them legally is probably at one of three shows planned this week and next. Each of the shows is open to the public and free of charge. Since they are being held on different nights, residents have an opportunity to make up for missed fireworks.
The first is at Ratcliff Saturday night and will be put on by the Ratcliff Volunteer Fire Department. Activities will begin at Ratcliff City Hall at 6 p.m. Saturday when food will be available. The fireworks show will start between 9 p.m. and 9:15 p.m., according to Jay Young, fire department chief.
The show was cancelled last year becaue of drought conditions.
Young said the fireworks purchased last year were stored. He said the department spent between $2,500 and $3,000 on fireworks for this year’s show.
On Wednesday, July 3, the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce will stage its annual fireworks show at Paris High School. The show will get started between 9 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. There is no formal program, just fireworks set off by the Paris Volunteer Fire Department.
"Last year, we had to cancel," said PACC Executive Director Linda Hixson. "Since we had already paid the fireworks company, they just held onto our money so this year’s show is being done with last year’s money."
The organization spent $3,000 for the fireworks, Hixson said.
Last year, the traditional day-long celebration held in New Blaine was shortened when only the Little Mister and Miss Firecracker Pageant was held.
This year, the day-long celebration is back and it will be held at the New Blaine Park on Thursday, July 4 beginning at 6 a.m. with the 18th Annual Mountain Dew Pancake Breakfast. Carnival games, bingo and train rides will be available from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. and again at 3 p.m. A horse shoe tournament, fire truck rides, concessions and a 5K run-walk will begin at 8 a.m. The 10th Annual Little Mister and Miss Firecracker Pageant will take place at 4 p.m. A sky diver will drop in at 6 p.m. and the fire works take place at dark, around 9:15 p.m.
"We spent between $3,500 and $3,700 on fireworks and had to store them," said Jackie Lensing, one of the event organizers. "We only had the pageant last year because we thought no one would come out. Also, we thought our firemen needed to be available in case something broke out."