Fireworks are on the way – be safe

They glisten across the night sky and symbolize Independence Day.

But they are also dangerous when handled by amateurs.

We would like to remind everyone that personal fireworks are not allowed anywhere in our beautiful county. The use of any type of personal fireworks presents a real danger of injury and fire.

The so-called “Safe and Sane”  fireworks sold on the mainland are intended to be used in the communities where they are purchased. Most of the fireworks sold on reservations are not legal anywhere else in the state.

There will be some amazing fireworks shows presented by professional pyrotechnicians throughout San Juan County.  Fireworks shows are planned at Roche Harbor, Friday Harbor, Eastsound, Deer Harbor and Lopez Island. Residents and visitors alike enjoy these shows.

Speaking of the professional shows, the Orcas Chamber is in need of donations to help fund its fireworks display on July 4 over the waters of East Sound.

The cost of putting on a fireworks show with Western Display Fireworks has increased over the years.  With stricter marine and Homeland Security regulations and with a barge rental charge, the chamber can no longer absorb the $14,000 price tag into its normal operations budget.

There are several sponsorship levels: gold ($500-plus), silver ($250-plus) and bronze ($100-plus). With a sponsorship your name is included in an Islands’ Sounder thank you ad, the chamber blast, an annual meeting announcement and Facebook and other social media posts as well as recognition at July 5 Community Parade. To donate call 376-2273 or email Donations can also be mailed to the Chamber of Commerce (PO Box 252, Eastsound) or dropped off at 65 North Beach Road.

In addition, the Orcas Island Community Foundation has a fund for donations. Send in a check made payable to OICF, PO Box 1496, Eastsound, WA  98245, or donate at

So even if you have $10 or $20 to spare, it will go a long way to helping us keep this Orcas Island tradition alive.  And when we have a stunning show to watch, who needs illegal fireworks?