By GREG RUSSELL
Register Staff Writer
Plentiful recent rain and moisture should make July 4 fireworks less locally hazardous than in years past, though residents are still urged to shoot with caution.
Cooke County is not currently under a burn ban, though use of fireworks within city limits remains forbidden.
“Out in the county, there are no restrictions other than what state law mandates,” Fire Marshal Ray Fletcher said Tuesday. “But if they sell it, you can pretty well shoot it.”
Few Cooke County-area cities have formal July 4 events planned, mostly due to budget constraints. Only Lake Kiowa, Callisburg, Saint Jo and Sanger will feature fireworks shows — unless local dryness skyrockets with several days of high heat and no moisture.
“How will it be in two weeks, we don’t know,” Fletcher said. “Even in two weeks, without rain, we’re going to have some brittle conditions. But there’s a chance of rain this weekend and what will happen is anyone’s guess.”
Fletcher said despite the lack of fireworks restriction in rural areas, users should still behave prudently by shooting fireworks with adult supervision and with a method to extinguish fires if they occur.
“We should have a pretty low incidence of grass fires or wildland fires created by fireworks,” he said, citing local moisture levels. “But that’s not to say we still can’t burn a boathouse down or a house down by people being irresponsible with them.”
Upcoming area July 4 events
Callisburg — The Callisburg Volunteer Fire Department will host an “ice cream social” and fireworks display on Saturday at Parkhill Park in Callisburg. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. and attendance is free.
Sanger — Lake Ray Roberts Marina in Sanger will offer a free fireworks show at 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 6. Parking is $5.
Saint Jo — The City of Saint Jo, the Saint Jo Chamber of Commerce and Saint Jo Volunteer Fire Department are hosting a wide array of activities on Thursday, July 4. The sixth annual Old Jo’s Firecracker 5K run on the square in Saint Jo starts at 8 a.m. The certified course goes through city streets and on FM 677. Visit www.oldjosfirecracker5k.com to register and for additional information. And the city organizations will once again sponsor a July 4 fireworks show at Boggess City Park, beginning around 9 p.m. Live music, free watermelon and a concession stand become available at 6 p.m. The Saint Jo Youth League will be hosting a horseshoe and volleyball tournament throughout the day starting at 9 a.m. Please contact John Jones at (940) 230-5981 for more information. A patriotic children's parade will begin at 7 pm. The parade will go from the town's square up Howell Street to the First National Bank pavilion in the Boggess Park. Prizes will be awarded for the best patriotic costume and float. Contact Mindy Hobbs for more information at (940) 531-8716. Games for children will begin at the park following the parade. Pre-show entertainment will also start at 7 p.m. with live music by Quick Draw. The city’s chamber of commerce will continue its tradition of serving free watermelon all evening. The concession stand will have hot dogs, hamburgers and other refreshments for purchase. The chamber of commerce will also sponsor the eleventh annual “July 4th Freeze-Off” at 8 p.m. Teams are invited to prepare homemade ice cream. The winners are chosen by popular vote and independent judges after tasting all the ice cream. The Freeze-Off grand prize of $150, second place award of $100 and third place award of $50 will be awarded to the Montague County non-profit youth group of the winning team's choice. To register an entry, call Randie Burton at (940) 995-2964.
Lake Kiowa — A pancake breakfast begins at 8 a.m. at Lake Kiowa Pavilion on Thursday, July 4. An opening ceremony is at 9 a.m., and a parade begins at 10 am. Entertainment (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) includes a tap brigade, line dancing and live music. Boat rides and vendors are available throughout the day and a Texas Hold ‘Em game is from 6 to 8 p.m.
Denton — A Kiwanis Club fireworks show is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at Apogee Stadium at the University of North Texas. The show will include patriotic music and an elaborate fireworks display. Also, a “Family Fun Jubilee” is set for 9 a.m. in the city’s Quakertown Park. Events will include a cookoff, parade, free children’s carnival, food vendors, horseshoes, a craft show/sale and more. And a “Yankee Doodle Parade” begins at 9 a.m. in downtown Denton for pedestrians, walkers and non-motorized riders (wagons, bicycles, etc.).