Celebrate Freedom

Fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m. at tonight’s Celebrate Freedom event at Benjamin Russell.

While it’s legal to shoot fireworks in Alexander City’s city limits, police urge caution because fires and serious injuries can result from carelessness.

“The biggest thing with fireworks is being respectful of your surrounding neighbors,” Alexander City police Capt. James Orr said. “And limit how late you shoot fireworks.”

Organized fireworks can be seen Wednesday beginning at approximately 9:30 p.m. during the 15th annual Celebrate Freedom event at Benjamin Russell sponsored by the Marshall Street Church of God. Celebrate Freedom begins at 6 p.m. and will feature performers 49 North and Sidewalk Prophets. Coolers, alcohol and smoking will not be allowed.

There will also be fireworks at The AMP on Lake Martin on Thursday night. Guests are invited to claim their spots on the lawn before 6 p.m. when The Bank Walkers will take the stage. A hula hoop contest as well as a twist contest will occur around 7:30 p.m. The Tyn Tymes will perform at 8 p.m. and after fireworks will once again take the stage until 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on The AMP website.

For those who plan their own personal fireworks shows, Orr said using common sense should avoid accidents and even tragedy.

“If you’re dealing with younger kids, ensure an adult is with them and supervising the lighting of fireworks,” Orr said. “Make sure you’re a safe distance away and never point or throw fireworks at anybody. Have water available in case there is a fire. Never holds fireworks in your hand or try to relight fireworks that haven’t gone off. Fireworks also create litter so when you finish be respectful and pick it up.”

Orr said Alexander City police will have extra patrols on the streets during the Fourth of July holiday.

Alabama’s Marine Police said boaters should follow these safety tips on the lake:

  Check the boat’s outboard or stern drive to make sure it is functioning mechanically to avoid being towed in. If putting a boat in the water for the first time this season, make sure safety equipment is on board, especially life jackets for everybody on the vessel and a fire extinguisher.

• Ensure all life jackets are in good condition.

• Watch your surroundings. Make sure you have plenty of room to maneuver. When in doubt about the right of way, give way to the other boat. Also be vigilant about personal watercraft which are smaller and sometimes difficult to see.

• Do not drink alcohol and operate a boat. 

• Know what the weather is doing. Thunderstorms form quickly in the summer. If caught in a squall, try to get to the nearest safe shelter. If you can’t, make sure everyone on board is wearing a life jacket, get as close to the boat’s centerline as possible, turn the bow into the wind and take waves at a 45-degree angle.