Residents of Thurston County have a variety of ways to celebrate Independence Day, including personal fireworks and professional displays.
There are 11 fireworks stands registered with Thurston County this year, up from eight last year, offering up a variety of what law enforcement deems safe and sane fireworks.
Stands opened at noon Friday and will sell their wares from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. through July 4.
The hope is for residents to purchase from those stands, according to Thurston County Fire Marshal Bobby May.
“There is a huge difference between safe and sane and the fireworks you can get elsewhere,” May said, adding that the use of unapproved fireworks was one of the main issues he dealt with last year.
“I encourage patronizing through a stand with county approval.”
Where those fireworks can be used has narrowed over the years. Fireworks cannot be purchased or used within Lacey or Olympia city limits.
Fireworks can be discharged in unincorporated Thurston County from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. July 3 and July 4.
Fireworks can also be discharged within Tumwater city limits from 3-11 p.m. July 3 and July 4.
County officials are hoping residents will celebrate Independence Day with safe and sane fireworks, or at one of several professional shows around July 4.
“The safest bet by far is to leave it to the pros and enjoy one of the licensed public firework displays,” said Steve Romines, county director of emergency services. “But if you’re going to light your own fireworks, following a few basic safety rules will save you from injury and could even save your life.”
There are several professional shows around Thurston County.
Lacey’s annual Fireworks Spectacular on July 3 will consist of an approximately 15-minute display at William A. Bush Park, 4400 Chardonnay Drive SE. The show is expected to begin at around 10:15 p.m.
Yelm Highway near the park will close by 10 p.m., as well as the entrance to Lacey Crossroads and Lowe’s parking lots.
There is also a professional show at Boston Harbor Marina at dusk July 3.
Tumwater’s 26th annual Independence Day parade will kick off festivities at 11 a.m. July 4, followed by the 13th annual Artesian Festival and Thunder Valley Fireworks Show.
Festival gates open at 6 p.m. at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course Driving Range, followed by the fireworks show at 10:15 p.m. While the festival is free, parking is $10 per car.
There is also a fireworks display at Long Lake on July 4 and another at South Sound Speedway July 6.
The City of Olympia’s fireworks show is being held July 21 as part of the Capital Lakefair celebration at Heritage Park.