The fun of fireworks | Editorial

They’re sparkly and patriotic and symbolic.

They are also dangerous.

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 very real danger of injury and fire.

“‘Safe and Sane’ fireworks sold on the mainland are intended to be used in the communities where they are purchased,” says San Juan County Fire Marshal Steve Marler. “Many of the fireworks sold on reservations are not legal anywhere in the state other than on Native American lands.”

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 – the biggest one of all – on 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 Chamber believes the annual pyrotechnics show is an invaluable event that brings visitors to the island and delights hundreds of locals,” says Director Lance Evans. “And for the second consecutive year we are pleased to be working with Western Display Fireworks, one of the Northwest’s finest companies in the business.”

The cost of putting on a fireworks show 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 the Facebook and other social media posts as well as recognition at July 5 Community Parade. To donate call 376-2273 or email info@orcasislandchamber.com. 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 www.oicf.us. Note “Fireworks Fund” with your donation.

“We value every dollar received, even if you can’t join our sponsorship levels,” Evans said.

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 beautiful show to watch, who needs illegal fireworks?