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Larry Blustein


Don't let your holiday blow up on your fun


By Larry Blustein
sfsuntimes@aol.com
On July 4, 2015, Jason Pierre-Paul’s life changed forever. It could have been avoided.
While visiting family and friends in Deerfield Beach, the New York Giants football standout, who was on the cusp of being one of the highest paid defensive ends in football, saw things change, just like that.
As he and family members were shooting off fireworks that Pierre-Paul and others brought in to entertain, something went wrong when one went off in his hand. The mood changed immediately!
What happened to Pierre-Paul is truly typical on the Fourth. But as much as local communities preach and host events that would prevent such things from happening, it does - and for the most part, will as long as amateur pyrotechnics feel the need to experiment.
“It’s the society that we live in,” said Broward County fireman Keith Miller. “I have spent the past six months talking about the safety of fireworks for everyone - and not just kids.”
Miller, who lives in Hallandale Beach, has seen first hand how things can go bad - just like that. He is one person who can speak from experience and having to transport and treat those who have lost fingers and eyesight.
The end result for Pierre-Paul was the loss of a finger and damage to his hand. While he returned to the football field last season, the money that it cost him was certainly not worth trying to be the entertainer. His life could have ended that day.
“You know the crazy thing about this is parents or guardians seem to really not grasp the danger of shooting these explosives off without any supervision,” Miller pointed out. “I can only tell you this, from years of shooting off fireworks or seeing the aftermath of what can happen, you can never, ever trust that an explosive will perform the way you believe they will.”
Just like so many other things that we are all trying to tell our friends and family members, which often falls on deaf ears, igniting anything with fire will always be dangerous and unpredictable.
Forty-seven of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia allow legal “consumer” fireworks for the Fourth of July. The definition of consumer fireworks varies from state to state, but can include everything from cone fountains to roman candles to multiple tube “cake” devices to sparklers. Before using fireworks, find out what’s legal in your state by checking the state law summary for your state.
There are so many basic tips that many ignore each year if you are going to do the “backyard” thing and be your own show for the neighbors.
Even though police cannot really enforce local laws on everyone that night, when it comes to fireworks, you should understand that safety is the most important thing, and that lives are lost on nights like this all the time.
“If you really want to do this thing right and protect yourself, you must know the fireworks that you are shooting off,” Miller pointed out. “Drinking is just asking for more problems - because not being alert will be a costly mistake. Probably the most important thing is if a firework appears to be a dud, throw water on it - right away. The $15 is not worth your eyesight.”

WHERE TO CELEBRATE
While safety is so important in any setting, the holiday weekend is something that everyone looks forward to, and as you know this is an area that does it up right. From the beaches to local destinations, this is going to be a weekend of fun.

AVENTURA
The City will host its 21st annual Independence Day fireworks celebration on Monday, July 4, at 9 PM. The patriotic aerial display can be viewed from any location along Country Club Drive.
Rain date for the fireworks will be Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 9 PM.
For more information, visit cityofaventura.com or contact the Community Services Department at 305-466-8930.

FREEDOM FEST - GULFSTREAM PARK
This is the weekend that everyone has been waiting for as Gulfstream Park’s entire facility will be alive and kicking for Freedom Fest (July 2, 3 & 4).
The mix of racing, sales at the shops, gaming and fireworks will take center stage from Saturday through Monday.

Here is a look at the exciting schedule:
Saturday, July 2
SUMMIT OF SPEED
Nine stakes races with over $1.2 million on the line.
Jumbo Beach Tote - Your GIFT with purchase of a seat in Grandstand, Silks or Ten Palms. Noon - 4PM in Silks. While Supplies last.
Ten Palms Restaurant - Summit of Speed Buffet - $49.99+

Sunday, July 3
Live racing starting at 1:15PM.
Sunday Brunch Buffet - Ten Palms $44.99++ I Noon - 4PM.

BBQ Buffet - Ten Palms $24.99++ I 6PM - 9PM.

KID ZONE
Featuring a kid DJ, face painters, tattoo artist, stilt walkers and various acts in Champions Plaza I 5 - 9PM
Food Trucks - South Valet Area I 4PM - 10PM.
DJ and Patriotic giveaways - Walking Ring 5:30PM - 10PM. While supplies last.
Grucci Fireworks Show - Apron/Grandstand area 9:30PM - 9:45PM.

Monday, July 4
Live racing starting at 1:15PM
$2 Hot Dogs, Burgers, Beer & Wine at the Corona Beach House I 1PM- 4PM

HOLLYWOOD GETS SET FOR THE FOURTH
The much anticipated summertime treat of spending the day on the beach with a gathering of family and friends is on its way. Preparations are underway for a fun and music filled day on Monday, July 4th from 2 – 10p.m.

The award-winning Blue Wave beach is ready to welcome you. Pick your fun along the beach at Charnow Park’s splash pad, beach games, relaxing under umbrella or grab your favorite percussion instrument to play along with beachside entertainers. The celebration concludes with a star spangled offshore fireworks display at 9p.m.

Personal fireworks of all types, sparklers, glass containers, coolers, and barbecue grills are prohibited on the beach and will be confiscated by Hollywood Police.

For additional event information, contact the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts at 954.921.3404.

EVENT SCHEDULE
Charnow Park – Beach Side
2 – 4 pm �• Music & Games w/DJ Tony Mixx
4 – 5 pm �• Concert featuring High Tolerance
5 – 7 pm �• Music & Games w/DJ Tony Mixx
7 – 9 pm �• Concert featuring High Tolerance

Johnson Street Plaza
1 – 4 pm �• Ploomie & the Steel Harmonix (Beach Theatre Stage)
2 – 5 pm �• Fun Zone Activities

9 pm Offshore Fireworks
(Great viewing locations beach-wide)

FIREWORKS AT SUNDOWN IN NORTH MIAMI
With the gates opening at 7, Florida International University (Biscayne Bay Campus) will be the place to be in North Miami. The event will take place on the grounds of the Kovens Center, 3000 NE 151 Street North Miami. FREE admission and parking.
Food available for purchase. Enjoy a fun-filled evening with music, entertainment and spectacular fireworks over Biscayne Bay!
The event will take place rain or shine. No personal fireworks, coolers, or alcoholic beverages allowed.
For more information, call Parks and Recreation Department at 305.895.9840.