New fireworks law helps ring in new year
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, whose job includes the role of state fire marshal, cautioned Floridians to follow fire-safety guidelines ahead of the first New Year’s holiday with a law bolstering the availability of fireworks. Ron DeSantis signed a measure (SB 140) that allows people 18 and older to buy fireworks to use on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Independence Day. Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, called the state’s prior fireworks rules “one of the craziest laws we have on the books.” The old fireworks law prohibited explosives, such as firecrackers, torpedoes and roman candles, while allowing relatively innocuous devices such as sparklers. “You’re basically perjuring yourself every time you purchase fireworks, because you’re signing a paper that most people, I would say everyone, doesn’t use for that purpose,” Rodriguez said in February. The new law eliminated the need for people to declare why they are buying fireworks if they use the fireworks during the three holidays listed in the bill.
Ring in the new year with fireworks in downtown Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville invites residents and visitors downtown to ring in the new year with fireworks over the St. Johns River. The traditional fireworks show will begin at midnight on Jan. 1. Fireworks will be launched from a barge on the river just east of the Main Street Bridge, between the Hyatt and DoubleTree hotels, and high above the river from the Acosta Bridge. You will be able to view the fireworks from various spots along the Northbank and Southbank, including the Riverwalk, Riverfront Plaza and Friendship Fountain.
To promote social distancing, city to launch 4th of July fireworks from 6 spots
Instead of one giant fireworks display drawing thousands of people to line the St. Johns River downtown, the city will launch fireworks from six different spots across the River City to keep people spread out and socially distanced. The goal is to spread out the crowds with multiple locations around the city, making social distancing possible. The city of Jacksonville will launch fireworks from six locations this 4th of July. At Friendship Fountain on the Southbank, there were a few social distancing signs, but no markers or vendor setups like in years past. At Normandy/Lem Merrett Park, there was not a sign or social distancing circle in sight.
St. Johns County fireworks store sees boom in sales
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – With the Fourth of July right around the corner and social distancing still a major concern, many counties have canceled or postponed their firework shows. Candice Bryant, general manager of Phantom Fireworks off County Road 210, told News4Jax the store has seen a climb in sales over the last week. RELATED: St. Johns County COVID-19 cases nearly double in a weekAaron Lundy and his family walked the aisles of Phantom Fireworks Monday afternoon, looking for the perfect fireworks display. Tony Fiano, who lives in St. Johns County, wants to make sure the holiday still spreads joy despite these trying times. And with the increase in sales, the store is doing its best to keep the shelves full.
Fireworks to go on in Jacksonville despite COVID-19 concerns
Fourth of July fireworks in Jacksonville will still go on as planned, despite a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The city-sponsored Independence Day fireworks will take off from six locations in whats planned to be Jacksonvilles largest display ever. We are prepared to act if theres an urgent need to act, said Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham about beaches being open. This isnt over, said UF Health infectious disease expert Chad Neilsen, who holds a masters degree in public health. The city of Jacksonville will launch fireworks from six locations this 4th of July.
Nassau County prohibits professional fireworks for 4th of July
NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Nassau County has issued an executive order prohibiting professional fireworks in the county, including for the Fourth of July. According to the executive order, which was signed Saturday by County Manager Michael Mullin, the ban does not include fireworks on a private residential property. READ: Nassau County Executive Order No. 15The order shows the county is prohibiting professional fireworks this year because the increase of COVID-19 cases in Nassau County and the state “causes concerns for activities that increase public gatherings.”A violation of the order is considered to be a second-degree misdemeanor, and anyone who violates it could face a $500 fine and/or up to 60 days in jail.
Jumbo Shrimp to host Independence Day Fireworks Celebration on July 3
The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are hosting an Independence Day Fireworks Celebration at 9:15 p.m. Friday, July 3. The Jumbo Shrimp are capping capacity at 2,000 attendees, who will be placed in accordance with social distancing guidelines in the 121 Financial Ballpark seating bowl and bleachers. Tickets for the Jumbo Shrimps Independence Day Fireworks Celebration must be either printed in advance or displayed on a mobile device. We are thrilled to safely host guests for our annual Independence Day Fireworks Celebration at 121 Financial Ballpark, said Jumbo Shrimp executive vice president and general manager Harold Craw. All Jumbo Shrimp staff will be wearing face coverings, and guests are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings.
4th of July fireworks are on in Jacksonville
JACKSOVILLE, Fla. – Mayor Lenny Curry announced Thursday that not only will the city put on its normal Fourth of July fireworks display over the St. Johns River, but Jacksonville will also provide fireworks in other parts of town to ensure people can celebrate the nation’s birthday without congregating downtown. “This year we’re looking to make it bigger, better and safer,” Curry said. As we do every year, News4Jax will televise and stream the city’s fireworks spectacular as well as others around Northeast Florida, although those will be in short supply this year. Jacksonville Beach postponed its Independence Day fireworks show to New Years Eve. St. Augustine canceled its display, but more recently decided to reconsider that decision as the event gets closer.
Jacksonville Beach officials decide to postpone 4th of July fireworks
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Jacksonville Beach leaders decided Monday to postpone the annual Fourth of July fireworks show. Staffopolous said other communities in Florida are also choosing to cancel or postpone the Fourth of July events. Evanoff said even though she’ll miss the fireworks this year she understands the reason for postponing. “It’s definitely another impact, another thing we have to lose out on but we have to do it for the community to be safe,” Evanoff said. Jacksonville and St. Augustine are still debating their fireworks decisions.
Cancellation of 4th of July fireworks still up in the air
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The city of St. Augustine addressed concerns over whether or not the annual Fourth of July Fireworks display will be held this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. A Special City Commission meeting was held Monday night where they decided to cancel the fireworks celebration based on a presentation from City Manager John Regan about similar firework cancellations in neighboring communities. Regan then issued an apology Tuesday for presenting inaccurate information about decisions from Jacksonville Beach and Daytona Beach. “I presented information regarding the City of Jacksonville Beach and the City of Daytona Beach fireworks’ celebration that was not fully vetted for accuracy. Flagler Beach has cancelled their fireworks and parade,” Regan said.
Jacksonville’s Fourth of July fireworks still on; Jax Beach, St. Augustine to wait and see
Jacksonville Beach City Manager Mike Staffopoulos said he was not prepared to sign the contract for the show yet. He said he was waiting for Jacksonville city leaders to make a decision. A decision is expected to be made at the Jacksonville Beach City Council meeting on June 1. The city of Jacksonville usually allocates $20,000 for the Jacksonville Beach show, but the city of Jacksonville Beach spends additional money on public safety measures, such as extra police officers, lifeguards and emergency services. Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham said it was a difficult decision to make because the pandemic is unprecedented and has been unpredictable.
Florida lawmakers approve fireworks revamp
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A proposal to allow Floridians to legally buy fireworks for use on three holidays is headed to Gov. Current Florida law governing fireworks is “completely outdated,” according to Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez, a Doral Republican who sponsored the House version of the legislation. The Senate voted 39-0 Monday to approve the bill, which doesn’t preempt local fireworks regulations. State lawmakers over the years have tried and failed to amend the fireworks law, with proposals including a repeal of the ban altogether and making changes to the legal waiver. But fireworks companies -- including TNT Fireworks, Phantom Fireworks and Sky King Fireworks -- have opposed changes, warning of more injuries to consumers if the market is less restricted.
Fireworks revamp heads to House floor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – An effort to allow people to legally set off fireworks on three days, without a pretense for buying the explosives, is now ready to be heard on the House floor. The House Commerce Committee on Thursday voted 17-5 to support the proposal (HB 65), which seeks to allow people 18 and older to buy fireworks to use on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Independence Day, days when fireworks are particularly popular. The proposal wouldn’t prevent local rules regarding fireworks and would eliminate the need for people to declare why they are buying fireworks if solely for use during the three days. The removal of Memorial Day brought Rodriguez’ proposal in line with the Senate version (SB 140), which has passed its committees and is ready for floor action. State lawmakers over the years have tried and failed to amend the fireworks law, with proposals including a repeal of the ban and making changes to the legal waiver to purchase fireworks.
This could be the last New Year’s Eve that fireworks are illegal in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Many fireworks displays you’ll likely see or hear this New Year’s Eve are technically illegal in Florida. These are all illegal in Florida, but I purchased them because I signed this form that says I’m using them for some exemption under Florida law,” Dennis said. It would allow fireworks to be sold and used three times a year -- on Memorial Day, Independence Day and New Year’s Eve. But with or without the bill, fireworks are readily being sold and used under current law. If the bill becomes law, you’ll have to be 18 or older to purchase fireworks.
Be courteous: Fireworks can trigger PTSD in veterans
This article was originally posted in 2018, but has been revived to spread awareness for those with Post-traumatic stress disorder. JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The sound of fireworks may not be a big deal to some, but to our veterans, it could trigger their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Its the reason why News4Jax wants to remind everyone to be courteous of local veterans diagnosed with PTSD. The fireworks can be a nightmare- triggering anxiety attacks and frightening those veterans with PTSD. He wants more people to understand what other veterans may be going through when those fireworks go off.