Local towns are gearing up for their Independence Day celebrations, offering several options to get out and celebrate the summer holiday.

Pittsburg

The Pittsburg Independence Day Celebration kicks off Saturday and lasts through July 4. Saturday’s events begin with a tennis tournament at 8:30 a.m. Followed by an art show at 9 a.m. and disc golf tournament beginning at 10 a.m. Kiddie Land will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The festivities continue Sunday with Kiddie Land open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., but really get going Monday, beginning with a baby contest at 6 p.m. and wiffle ball tournament at 6 p.m. The night ends with a movie in the park at 9 p.m. Kiddie Land, as well as arts and crafts and food vendors, will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

July 4 will be packed with events all day long starting with a Firecracker 5k at 7:30 a.m. Events throughout the day include a fishing derby, bike ride, Zumbathon, car show, dog show, live entertainment and much more. The evening ends with a fireworks display at 10 p.m.

The celebration takes place at Lincoln Park. For more information and a full schedule, contact Pittsburg Parks and Recreation at 231-8310.

Girard

Girard’s Smokin’ Hot Independence Day Celebration kicks off Saturday at 6 p.m. on the square. The night will feature children’s games and food vendors, as well as homemade ice cream from the Girard FFA Alumni and a free watermelon feed provided by the Wutke family.

A live music performance by the Barnstormers begins at 7 p.m. followed by a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.

Crawford State Park

Crawford State Park will have a fireworks display starting at dark Sunday. Prior to the display, food and live music will be available starting at 5 p.m.

Safety

Organized fireworks displays offer a safe, family friendly event. But if residents choose to light their own fireworks at home, it is important to remember that safety comes first.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety reminds folks to always light fireworks one at a time, moving to a safe distance after lighting. Always light fireworks away from a structure and have a bucket of water or hose nearby and ready.

It is also important to never relight a firework that did not go off. All firework shooting should be supervised by an adult.

Fireworks may only be shot inside the Pittsburg city limits until 10 p.m. through July 5, with the deadline extended to midnight on July 4.

The Southeast Kansas Humane Society would also like to remind residents about their pet’s safety during Independence Day Celebrations.

Shelter Director Kelci Cooper said dogs have approximately 100 times more sensitive hearing than humans. She said to never take your dog to a fireworks display, and if shooting fireworks at home, put your dog in a safe, secure interior room. Dogs should also be put inside if owners are gone to protect them from fireworks going off in the area.

Cooper said more dogs are lost during the Fourth of July period than any other time of year, so it is important to keep them inside and make sure they are tagged or chipped in case they do go missing.

Cooper said residents can ask their veterinarian about medication to calm their dog, or a thunder jacket to make them feel more secure during fireworks.