• 82°

Holiday edition makes local history

    Tomorrow we’ll make history.

     Not only is Thursday our nation’s 237th birthday, it also will mark the first weekday July 4th edition of The Daily Leader.

     I verified the historic nature of the occasion with former publisher Bill Jacobs, who told me Tuesday afternoon there has never been an Independence Day edition.

     “If July 4th was on a Sunday, we published,” Jacobs said. Otherwise, The Daily Leader skipped an edition on the holiday.

     So when you receive your morning copy of The Daily Leader Thursday, you’ll be participating in this historic occasion.

     The Independence Day holiday got started early in Lincoln County, as Easthaven Baptist Church opened its grounds to the public for its annual Patriotic Picnic Sunday afternoon and evening.

     When I first arrived in Brookhaven, it was right before the Fourth of July two years ago. At the time, I asked someone here if there were any fireworks displays around town, and I was directed to go out to Easthaven.

     Each year, the church makes sure area residents have a great family-oriented picnic to enjoy along with a traditional holiday fireworks show.

     A few other holiday events are scheduled around the area on Thursday. The Brookhaven Tea Party plans to read the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights at an event scheduled at Lake Lincoln State Park from noon until 2 p.m.

     The public also is invited to a barbecue at 7 p.m. Thursday at Mallalieu Baptist Church.

     While these public events offer a way to celebrate the holiday with other area residents, many locals will choose to spend the day cooking out and relaxing at home with close family and friends.

     Regardless of your choice of ways to spend the holiday, many will elect to set off some fireworks of one kind or another tomorrow evening.

     Brookhaven residents are to be reminded that fireworks are not legal within the city limits, although the police department said some churches have gone to the board of aldermen to get special permission for the pyrotechnics at organized events.

     In the county, fireworks are legal, but law enforcement officers in the county, as well as city, urge caution.

     Firework safety isn’t the only thing to be watchful of this holiday. Grills also can be dangerous, particularly during the lighting process.

     “The most dangerous time around a grill is when you light it,” State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney wrote in a press release.

     While charcoal grills and lighter fluid pose a particular risk, Chaney said gas grills also can be hazardous. Statistics show “gas grills were involved in an average of over 7,000 home fires annually between 2006-2010,” Chaney said.

     Finally, if you drive over the holiday, be particularly careful as well. The holiday and the day off from work will mean more people are out and about, which raises the opportunity for accidents to strike.

     So enjoy the holiday, be safe, and be sure to go out and pick up your Daily Leader from the front yard.

     Happy Fourth of July.

    Rachel Eide is editor/general manager of The Daily Leader. Contact her at rachel.eide@dailyleader.com.