HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. — The Fourth of July weekend is rapidly approaching, and the sights and sounds of fireworks displays will be filling the air. Officials in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, have come up with a way to keep celebrations safe and supervised.
Because it’s illegal to set off fireworks in city limits, the Helena River Park is designated a “legal fireworks zone”.
“The council and the mayor passed a resolution recently to allow citizens to fire fireworks in our River Park as a safe alternative this holiday,” said Helen Halbert, Helena-West Helena chief of staff. “The planned dates for this are July second, third and fourth, from an hour before sundown—roughly six, seven o’clock—until 1 a.m. on those three days.”
During those times, the public is invited to set off fireworks is a place they can stay safe.
“You’ll have Fire there for suppression purposes, you’ll have police there for security purposes, as well as EMS services there just in case anyone was to get hurt,” said Assistant Fire Chief Demarcus Borum.
Borum says people shooting off fireworks illegally has become a problem.
“Over the years, of course, the police department has written tons of tickets because it’s illegal. But kids still want to be able to play with fireworks,” Borum said.
He says police will have a concentrated area to patrol with the fireworks zone, freeing them up for more serious crimes.
“Cause they have other obligations outside chasing people down who are using fireworks,” Borum said.
He stresses safety first for the holiday.
“You know, no intent to harm one another,” Borum said. “Just enjoy the holiday, enjoy your fireworks, and we’ll be there to help if you have any issues.”