With the state of Utah facing an extreme drought, this Fourth of July personal fireworks are banned in some areas and heavily discouraged statewide.
Since Gov. Spencer Cox and many other state officials are heavily discouraging personal fireworks, Emma Parkhurst, USU extension assistant professor of health and wellness pointed out some fun ways to celebrate the holiday safely.
“It’s a good opportunity to start some new traditions,” she said.
Parkhurst said it’s a good idea to use things like glow sticks, which still have the bright and colorful effect of fireworks.
“They have glow in the dark sticks, necklaces, beach balls, sidewalk chalk, literally anything that you can think of somebody either has a DIY for or it’s for sale somewhere," she said.
She said using Christmas lights would be another fun way to light up the night.
Parkhurst also pointed out that it can be a great time to involve neighbors and have a get together.
“It could include something like barbecue and karaoke," she said. "If somebody has one of those pop-up movie screens you can have a backyard movie or patriotic costume contest.”
One of the things Parkhurst found in coming up with ideas for the holiday is that there are multiple certified dark sky parks in Utah where people can take advantage of star gazing.
Her other suggestions included heading to the outdoors, playing yard games, organizing a patriotic bike parade and challenging friends to a patriotic baking contest.