LEXINGTON — As the Fourth of July approaches, the sale and discharge of fireworks began to be allowed across the area. The times in which discharges are allowed vary by city and location. Safety is strongly advised.
In Lexington, sale of fireworks began on Thursday, June 25, according to City Clerk Pam Baruth. The city itself does not have specific regulations on when fireworks can be discharged, but people are asked to be considerate of their neighbors during the lead up to Independence Day.
If noise from fireworks becomes an issue, it falls under the noise nuisance code and offenders can be charged with disturbing the peace.
Lexington’s legal discharge of fireworks ends promptly at midnight on July 4.
The Lexington Police Department Chief Tracy Wolf said, "There are no specific times laid out for the discharge of fireworks in city code. We work through the complaints received using the general noise prohibition. We ask that people be respectful to their neighbors during this time and understand that people work different shifts and have different sleep patterns associated with their jobs."
Wolf continued, "The Lexington Police Department encourages parental supervision and strict adherence to the safety guidelines from the manufacturer during the discharge of fireworks. Citizens are also required to clean-up and properly dispose of discharged fireworks on their streets and sidewalks."
The sale and use of fireworks in Cozad began on Wednesday, June 24, according to the City of Cozad.
Discharge times during the ten day period in the 100th Meridian community are between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. except on July 4, when it is extended from 10 a.m. to midnight.
Over in Gothenburg, the sale and discharge of fireworks also began on June 24, according to the Gothenburg Police Department.
During the 10 day period discharge times are allowed from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on the Fourth it is extended from 8 a.m. to midnight.
Those living in Dawson County can discharge fireworks ten days before the Fourth of July, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. On July 4, discharged is allowed until midnight.
In Gosper County, Elwood follows Nebraska state fireworks laws and they can be sold and used from June 25 to July 4.
Those who reside outside of any municipalities are subject to the Nebraska fireworks laws as well and can be discharged 10 days before July 4, as well as the holiday itself.
Lexington Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dahlas Holbein reminds people, "to be cautious and follow directions on the fireworks. I t’s good to always be aware of your surroundings. Be sure to always have a bucket of water or some kind water source available. Be sure that fireworks are completely extinguished before discarding them in a trash can. Younger children should have adult supervision."
"Most important is to be courteous with your neighbors whom may be a veteran or have pets who do not handle hearing the loud bangs," Holbein said.
For more safety information and injury statistics about fireworks, please see page 7.
Local firework displays
The Light up the Lake fireworks display at Johnson Lake will begin at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 3. Fireworks are shot off from the south end of the lake, according to the Johnson Lake Chamber of Commerce.
The Sumner Commercial Club announced their fireworks show will start at dusk on Saturday, July 4 at the baseball fields on the north side of town.
The Lexington firework display will also occur at dusk and will take place near Kirkpatrick Memorial Park, Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sarah Neben said.
Larry Steinberger is returning to conduct the firework show. Neben said and extended a thanks to him for taking it on again this year. Neben also thanked the Lexington Volunteer Fire Department, who will have a rig on site for safety.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chamber is asking people to abide by some extra guidelines. Neben said masks are recommended for those in attendance. Family units are also asked to stay together and practice six foot social distancing from other groups. The same is asked of those who watch from their vehicles along Taft St.
The show is expected to last between 25 to 30 minutes.