NORTH COUNTY — For many celebrating the Fourth of July involves barbecues, going to the beach or park and setting off fireworks. However, due to the risk of fires in our area, many cities, and the county have banned all fireworks to limit the risk of fires.
Throughout the County of San Luis Obispo, all fireworks are banned by ordinance and are illegal to use, sell, or possess in the county unless otherwise permitted. Only two communities allow the use of safe and sane fireworks: Templeton and San Miguel.
Safe and sane fireworks usually include fireworks that are not explosive or leave the ground. Some usual safe and sane fireworks include sparklers, snakes or ground-spinning fireworks and pinwheels. These safe and sane fireworks can only be purchased from a State Fire Marshal licensed retail stand from noon June 28 to noon July 6. These can only be used in the communities that allow the use of safe and sane fireworks in their local ordinance.
Two of these approved fireworks stands in San Miguel open today, June 28. One will be located on 1130 Mission St. and the other on 1040 K St. Stands will also open in Templeton on July 1 and benefit local nonprofits, one at 405 N. Main St., another at 710 Las Tablas Rd. an the other on 703 S. Main St.
On July 4, many residents and visitors will be celebrating our nation’s independence and several communities plan to offer celebrations for the community to attend.
In Atascadero the 3rd Annual Atascadero 4th of July Bluegrass Freedom Festival doesn’t feature fireworks — nonetheless, it is planned to be a fun and free hometown celebration. It all starts at 2 p.m. and continues to 8 p.m. and will have four bluegrass bands, including the headline band of Snap Jackson and the Knock on Wood Players. There will be barbecued chicken, hotdogs, beer and wine available for purchase, plus free activities and games for the kids and family-fun amusements. This event raises funds for the Atascadero Colony Days.
Templeton’s 4th of July celebration is also a family affair and features a pancake breakfast put on by Templeton firefighters starting from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Independence Day Parade starts at 10 a.m. and is produced by the Rotary Club of Templeton. Applications for floats and entries can be found on the Rotary Club website at templetonrotary.org.
Paso Robles has its annual Paso Pops which benefits the Paderewski Festival. Paso Pops goes from 4 p.m. to a little past 10 p.m. and features carnival rides for the family and food, wine and beer for purchase. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic. The highlight of the event is a concert of patriotic music set to finale 30 min. display of professional fireworks. Tickets range from $15 to $30 for adults and children 12 and under are free with an accompanying paid adult.
Additional fireworks displays for the public to attend are also being held by the coastal communities of Cayucos, Cambria and Pismo Beach.
Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County reminds everyone that fireworks are banned and illegal to use or possess in the county. That there is zero-tolerance for the use of fireworks, and a violation will result in a misdemeanor citation including a $2,000 fine. Anyone responsible for starting a wildfire may incur civil and/or criminal penalties, including reimbursement of all firefighting costs.
With significant fires that are occurring throughout the state and in the North County, everyone is urged to avoid any activity that could spark an unwanted fire.
For additional fire safety information, visit www.readyforwildfire.org/One-LessSpark-Campaign/.
For the Atascadero celebration, visit www.atascaderofourthofjuly.com/, Templeton’s celebration visit www.templetonchamber.com/4th-of-july-celebration/ and for the Paso Robles celebration visit www.paderewskifest.com/pasopops/.