4th of July celebration and holiday safety

City of Asheville fireworks

The City of Asheville is pleased to host its annual Ingles 4th of July celebration on Sunday beginning at 4 p.m. Meanwhile, the Asheville Police Department is asking the public to celebrate the holiday safely.

The free event takes place at Pack Square Park, and features musical performances by Asheville favorites Skinny Legs and All at 4:30 p.m and Brushfire Stankgrass at 8:30 p.m. The afternoon will also feature a patriotic presentation by the Sons of the American Revolution, an event that has become an Independence Day tradition in Asheville. A grand finale fireworks display will cap off the event at 9:30 p.m.

The City of Asheville’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts festival staff has also planned a wide range of family-friendly activities including free face painting, old-fashioned family games and inflatable rides. Refreshments will be available from a variety of food and beverage vendors.

The City of Asheville is also excited to announce that the popular Splashville fountain will be operational during the celebration. Because of the fountain’s importance as a community asset, the sound system electrical connections and other programming activities have been arranged to allow the fountain to stay in operation. To get the best view of the stage, attendees are encouraged to sit to the left or right of the fountain.

Due to the popularity of this event, attendees are strongly encouraged to utilize parking decks in the downtown area, as parking near Pack Square Park will be limited. Additional attention should be paid to traffic changes, as Spruce Street and roads through Pack Square will be closed from 9 a.m. until midnight. Lawn chairs are welcome, but pets and coolers are not allowed during the celebration, and in accordance with changes to the City of Asheville non-smoking ordinance that went into effect July 1, smoking will not be permitted within Pack Square Park.

Ingles 4th of July celebration is produced by the City of Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department with support from Ingles, Budweiser, Pepsi, and Clear Channel Radio.

The 4th of July is also a time when the City of Asheville encourages residents to celebrate safely and bear in mind that North Carolina state law prohibits the use of many types of fireworks. The Asheville Police Department has announced that it will increase patrols during the July 4 weekend and implement a zero-tolerance police toward the use of illegal fireworks to ensure community safety.

“We want the community to enjoy the holiday and, above all, to be safe,” Asheville Police Chief Bill Hogan said. “And we are taking the necessary steps to ensure both citizens’ safety and that of our officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel.”

Here is a summary of North Carolina’s laws regarding fireworks from the Asheville Police Department:

About N.C. law:

Citizens should be aware that many consumer fireworks are not legal in North Carolina (N.C. General Statutes 14-410 through 14-415):

Legal — The types of consumer fireworks permissible for use in North Carolina are generally classified as sparklers, fountains, and novelty fireworks items that do not have a report (explode) or are not intended to spin or to leave the ground and fly through the air. State law requires the purchaser of any consumer fireworks be at least 16 years old.

Not Legal — Fireworks items such as firecrackers, ground spinners, Roman candles, rockets (including bottle rockets), mortars, etc.

Please be aware that although North Carolina legal fireworks are commonly called “Safe and Sane,” even those emit showers and sparks with temperatures that may exceed 1,200 degrees. Contact with skin, clothing, or combustibles could cause tragedy in seconds.