Rain and Weatherproof Yourself for the Fourth of July

While most people will be preparing their first barbecue of the summer on July 4th, the sunset may produce a cooler forecast for the fireworks display in the evening. Whether you are at home or on vacation, here are some tips you can use if the weather isn’t so obliging.

If you are vacationing in New York, for example, you can view the Macy’s fireworks display at many locations, one of which is the South Street Seaport. The temperature may be a bit cooler in the evening and although there are outdoor cafes available at the pier, you will need to dress a little warmer for this grand event.

And if you are standing on a parade route or on an overpass in a city or other venue that is near water, you may need to bring some extra items as well. Here are some tips:

  1. Wear layers. Cotton shirts, slacks, sweaters, and light outer jackets will keep you quite comfortable. Wear comfortable shoes since you may have to walk some distance to the event site.
  2. If you live close to where the fireworks display is being held and decide to bring lawn chairs to watch the event, bring a blanket along as well.
  3. When it rains, it pours. If you notice that the skies are overcast, bring an umbrella and rainwear so that your family can weatherproof themselves for the occasion.
  4. You may also want to pack a thermos of soup or hot tea in case there is a definite chill in the air.
  5. If you are bringing the children, you may also want to take along hats for them as it may become windy or unusually cool.

Although firework displays are exciting and fun to watch, ensure that your family is dressed warmly and comfortably so that everyone can enjoy the event unencumbered.

Finally, check the weather forecast for that evening so that you are not completely taken by surprise.


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Be Safe While Watching Fireworks

Whether you are attending a fireworks event in your home city or while on vacation, it is important to adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the organizers of the event.

Firework safety is of the utmost concern to organizers and depending upon where they set up the pyrotechnics for this event, a city may cordon off certain areas from the public.

For example, at the Macy’s Fireworks event in New York City, while there are many areas where the general public can view the fireworks, there are specific streets and walkways that will be closed.

A notice would be posted stating that the FDR Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic for a certain period of time. This regulation allows for pedestrians to access specific areas set aside for viewing and prevents traffic build-up. In addition, this allows the clean-up crew to do their jobs effectively after the event has finished.

It is highly recommended that you attend a professional fireworks event. The reason for this is that it is much safer as long as you are standing more than 500 feet away from the action. Moreover, you will have several vantage points with which to view the spectacular show.

Conversely, if your neighborhood is having a 4th of July Block Party and a fireworks display is planned for the evening, there are safety mechanisms that need to be put in place. If an adult or specialist is hired to set off the fireworks, he should:

  1. Ensure there is enough distance between him and the spectators.
  2. Ensure that the wind direction does not allow for debris to blow towards the spectators.
  3. Ensure that the fireworks are set securely and fire straight up.

These are necessary for the safety of the children who most likely will be in front row center during this time.

It is important to discuss firework safety with your kids and teens. This includes warnings about being too close to the fireworks when they go off, the proper handling of fireworks and sparklers, avoiding touching a firework that may appear to be a dud, not pointing fireworks at anyone, and never lighting more than one at a time.

Fourth of July is a day everyone looks forward to. Anyone can celebrate this day in a safe and fun-filled environment by adhering to the rules set forth by fireworks organizers as well as state and local authorities.


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Space Coast: Kennedy Space Center & Beach Fun in Florida

With spring just around the corner, you may be considering taking a vacation to Florida’s Space Coast. With beaches and activities for the entire family, not to mention the Kennedy Space Center, the time spent here will be well worth the trip.

According to the official website of Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism, here are just some of the launches scheduled for April:

  • On April 1: The United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket will launch the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) technology demonstration mission for the Missile Defense Agency. Launch time: noon.
  •  On April 6: The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket will launch the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite O, or GOES O, for NASA and NOAA. The weather satellite will orbit 22,300 miles above the planet to monitor conditions across the U.S. Launch time: noon.
  • On April 10: The United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket will launch NASA’s Kepler spacecraft to discover and characterize hundreds of planets. Launch time: noon.
  • On April 24: The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will launch NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to the moon and a lunar impactor secondary payload called the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite. The rocket will fly in the 401 vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. Launch time: noon.

Transportation is provided for viewing these launches where you and your family will be only seven miles from the shuttle pads. You can purchase tickets at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

You can select accommodations at the well-known Cocoa Beach area resorts, situated along 72 miles of beach. In addition, the weather is fabulous and there are an abundance of activities to participate in such as Brevard Zoo, Space Coast Museum, and other exciting venues as well.

Cocoa Beach accommodations are both affordable and family-friendly. Check out the many hotels, Inns, and beach resorts to determine availability and price. Also, call the airlines on any Wednesday to ascertain the lowest fare available if booked a minimum of two weeks in advance.

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