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A reminder for the Fourth: Sparklers do not go 'boom'
Deputy: Anything that sails into the air and explodes is illegal
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    Hosting your own fireworks show in your back yard may be tempting, but is it worth Regoing to jail?
    That could happen if those fireworks are illegal. True "fireworks" are banned in Georgia, but a variety of sparklers are legal. How to tell the difference? If you bought them from a retailer in Georgia, they're likely OK, but Statesboro Police Major J. R. Holloway has an easy way  to tell legal sparkler pyrotechnics from the illegal firecrackers.
    "Sparklers do not go 'boom,'" he said.
    Anything that sails into the air and explodes is illegal, said Bulloch County Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel.
    Violators of the Georgia law will be arrested, Holloway said.
    "We want folks to have a good time, and we prefer them to go to Mill Creek Park where they (fireworks) can be done safely," he said.
    As the annual Firecracker Fest gets underway at Mill Creek Regional Park beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday, citizens will enjoy food, entertainment, a variety of activities and a fireworks display as soon as it gets dark enough for the colorful explosions to be seen.
    But those who choose to have their own celebration run the risk of arrest and a hefty fine should they decide to detonate "real" fireworks, he said. "If you violate the law, we will be out working, and we will enforce the law."
    In spite of recent rains, some areas did not receive as much recent rainfall as others, and fireworks - even sparklers - could start a fire, he said. "Even with the legal sparklers, fire is fire."
    McDaniel said the ground should be moist enough after rains that the danger of fire is lessened, but the danger of being caught with illegal fireworks is just as strong as always.
    "If you're caught with fireworks, you stand a pretty good chance of going to jail," he said.
    Inside the Statesboro city limits, anyone caught with the contraband faces a $660 fine, according to information from the Municipal Clerk's office.  Elsewhere in the county, the fine for the misdemeanor could be up to $1,000, McDaniel said.
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414.
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