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Countdown to Niceville and Valparaiso Fireworks

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Funding Niceville and Valparaiso Independence Day Fireworks

Niceville celebrates the nation’s birthday in old-fashioned ways, starting with an easy meal for family and friends; as a fireworks fundraiser, the city hosts a Boston butt sale until June 30, with orders still accepted. 

The butts cost $40 each, or three for $100. Tickets for the butts can be purchased at the Niceville and Valparaiso city halls, at the Niceville Senior Center, or at the Niceville Public Library. Tickets can also be purchased online at the Lightupthebayou.com.

“The barge that we have (for launching fireworks), it’s about 10 years old,” said Julie Mooney, Niceville Senior Center manager. “Once the fireworks are done this year, we’ll have to take that out of the bayou and do repairs.

“That’s expensive,” she continued. “And then there’s the cost of the fireworks.”

Boston butts should be picked up June 30 at the former Mullet Festival site. Visit www.lightupthebayou.com for information.

Join sponsors such as 3rd Planet Brewing Co. and LiveOak Fiber in supporting Light up the Bayou.

Sometimes, an old-fashioned, family-oriented party on the bayou is the best way to celebrate July 4. At noon on our nation’s birthday, join your friends at Boggy Bayou’s Lions Park for the Freedom Fest 850.

The American Legion will sell pork sandwiches, with proceeds supporting A Bed 4 Me. Also, look for vendors, kid activities, face painting, and carnival games.

a firework explosion.
A fireworks display explodes in the night sky over Boggy Bayou.

Fireworks Schedule for July 4 in Niceville, Eglin Air Force Base and Valparaiso

The highlight of July 4, of course, is the fireworks, starting around 8:45 p.m.

“They will be fired from a barge out in Boggy Bayou, so any place around the bayou is a great place to see them,” said Chad Morris, Niceville deputy city manager.

There are no specific parking areas, but some good locations include Niceville Landing, Lions Park, Lincoln Park, Shipyard Point Park and Kiwanis Park.

Bring lawn chairs, and be prepared.
“Anytime you’re outside in Florida, it’s good to have mosquito protection,” Morris said. “That’s just a given. “And stay hydrated,” he added, especially if the current heat lasts through July 4.

Concerns from local law enforcement, pet advocates concerning fireworks

As exciting as fireworks are, some people and their pets prefer to stay home.

“I feel bad for the dogs,” said Michele Nicholson, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer. “We can expect to hear a lot of firecrackers and fireworks on the Fourth of July.”

In general, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles, Daygo bombs, and any fireworks containing explosive or flammable compounds are illegal in Florida.

There are, Nicholson said, three days each year in Florida when those types of fireworks are not illegal: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and July 4. People, she added, “can set off fireworks that are typically not allowed.”

Some cities and counties may have additional laws, so check before buying fireworks.

“We encourage folks to attend the designated official fireworks displays that will take place, but for those who plan to buy and set off their own there are some critical safety guidelines to follow, Nicholson said.”

  • First and foremost, do NOT use illegal fireworks, and never let young kids handle fireworks.
  • Older children should always have very close adult supervision.
  • Use them away from people, homes, and anything flammable.
  • Never handle fireworks if you’re impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Be sure to keep a bucket of water on hand so you can fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off, and also soak any used or unused fireworks in water for a few hours before you toss them out.
  • Lastly, not everyone is a big fan of backyard fireworks, including many pets, so please be considerate of your neighbors.
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2 Responses

  1. I wish everyone would be considerate by not shooting off fireworks in the days leading up to the 4th of July and New Years celebrations. People with pets can prepare for the days when fireworks are legal, but when unexpected, it can cause some pets to bolt and get lost, or can cause much anxiety. All summer we have to worry about the fireworks going off in Destin or other places on the bay because, even though we live in Niceville, if our dogs hear the booms, they don’t want to go outside before bedtime. Imagine if we humans weren’t able to go to the bathroom before bedtime. I love fireworks, but I wish everyone would limit the loud ones to the 4th of July and New Years Eve.

  2. The fireworks display over Boggy Bayou was spectacular this year!!! The only thing missing was the patriotic music, but it was a wonderful sight to see. Thanks to all involved.

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