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Watching fireworks by the dashboard light

Matthew Lane • Jul 2, 2020 at 8:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport is planning a double showing of fireworks for its Independence Day Celebration Saturday.

Fireworks will begin around 9:45 p.m., last about 10 to 15 minutes and be set to patriotic music on radio station 98.5 WTFM. Displays will go off in two areas — downtown and near Dobyns-Bennett High School — in order to maximize the viewing area and help keep folks socially distant.

Spectators are being asked to remain in their vehicles while viewing the fireworks. If it’s necessary to be outside your vehicle, safe social distancing should be maintained. Spectators are also encouraged to wear masks during the event.

Due to the drive-in nature of the show, there will be a few road closures during the event.

The following closures will be in place by 9:30 p.m. until the conclusion of the fireworks:

— Eastman Road between East Center Street and Fort Henry Drive.

— Berry Street from Fuller Street to Eastman Road.

— East Center Street from Park Street to Eastman Road (Fort Henry Drive will remain open).

A FRIENDLY REMINDER

Even though it’s Independence Day this weekend and the city will be shooting off fireworks in celebration, the Kingsport Police Department wants to remind residents that fireworks are illegal inside the city limits.

The KPD recommends leaving fireworks to the professionals and encourages you instead to enjoy Saturday night’s show. Below is the wording of the city ordinance regarding fireworks:

“For the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens and residents of the city, it is unlawful for any person to manufacture, use, discharge, possess with the intent to discharge, or offer for sale, expose for sale, sell at retail or keep with intent to sell at retail, fireworks in the city.”

Violations of this ordinance are subject to a $110 fine.

Read about fireworks curfews in Hawkins County and its cities here

SAFETY FIRST

The Kingsport Fire Department wants to remind you about the fire and safety hazards of consumer fireworks, noting that two out of five fires reported on Independence Day are started by fireworks.

According to a press release from the KFD, here are a few safety tips to remember when celebrating this weekend.

— Leave fireworks to the professionals. Do not use consumer fireworks.

— The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

— After the fireworks display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over.

— Fireworks can cause severe injuries. Sparklers burn at around 1,200 degrees, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

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