By CAROLYN BAHM
Because of concerns over spreading COVID-19, Memphis and most of its suburbs are having dark skies this Fourth of July, with one exception: Millington will have fireworks with appropriate social distancing for attendees. The city’s traditional Flag City Freedom Celebration will be tonight, July 2, at USA stadium (4351 Babe Howard Blvd.).
The gate opens at 6 p.m. and fireworks will begin at sundown in Millington. Music will be by Sherry Oke. Limited parking will be offered at $5 per vehicle. Attendees can bring picnic baskets, blankets, coolers and lawn chairs, and food and drink concessions will be available. Guests must maintain social distancing at the event. There will be no kids’ zone this year because of COVID-19 concerns. For details, call 901-873-5770.
The usual public fireworks shows have been cancelled this year in Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown and Memphis. A group of neighbors in Lakeland will have their annual private fireworks celebration at Garner Lake. Collierville has postponed its fireworks show until Sept. 5, when it will also mark the city’s 150th anniversary.
MemphisTravel.com has a great list of alternative July 4 weekend celebrations, including kayak rentals, a paddleboard tour, bike tours, picnics and more. See details at https://www.memphistravel.com/article/all-american-memphis-guide-fourth-july-weekend.
For safety reasons and/or noise control, most Shelby County locales discourage or outlaw the use of personal fireworks.
Bartlett: Fireworks are allowed if no one complains about the noise. If there are complaints, the police will respond and can shut down the use of fireworks. People aren’t permitted to make unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise at any time, but particularly between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. See ordinances 11-102 and 11-103 in the “Municipal Offenses” section of the city code for details. (Link: https://bit.ly/Bartlett-Noise-Ordinances)
Arlington: The town allows citizens to use fireworks during two periods annually: 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. July 4 and 8 p.m. Dec. 31 through 1 a.m. Jan. 1. (Fireworks: https://bit.ly/Arlington-Fireworks. Noise: Sections 11-401 and 11-402 at https://bit.ly/Arlington-Noise.)
Germantown: The average citizen can’t possess, make, store, sell, handle or use fireworks in the city. (Fireworks: See Section 10-17 at https://bit.ly/Gtown-fireworks. Noise: Section 12-65 (19) at https://bit.ly/Gtown-Noise.)
Lakeland: It’s illegal to use fireworks in the city limits unless a special permit is obtained. (Fireworks: See sections 7-204 and 7-205 at https://bit.ly/Lakeland-Fireworks. Noise: See sections 11-301 through 11-304 at https://bit.ly/Lakeland-Noise.)
Memphis: Follows the Shelby County guidelines of no personal fireworks allowed, but public displays are allowed with a permit.
Millington: Millington doesn’t permit the use of fireworks within the city limits unless it’s for a public display managed by city employees or unless a person, firm or corporation has obtained a permit from the state. (Fireworks: See Section 7-304 at https://bit.ly/Millington-Fireworks. Noise: Sections 11-301 and 11-302 at https://bit.ly/Millington-Noise.)
Shelby County: Sales or use of fireworks is prohibited except as authorized by state law. This doesn’t restrict or prohibit public displays of fireworks when the state fire marshal has issued a permit. (Shelby County fireworks: See sections 22-36 and 22-37 at https://bit.ly/Shelby-County-Fireworks. Shelby County noise: Article 3, especially Section 16-61 at https://bit.ly/Shelby-County-Noise.)
July 4 closures
Bartlett: Bartlett City Offices, Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center, Singleton Community Center, Bartlett Senior Center, Bartlett Station Municipal Center and the Bartlett Library, will be closed on Friday, July 3. The Bartlett Recreation Center (5 a.m.-8 p.m.) and the Bartlett Animal Shelter (9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) will be open on Friday and closed on Saturday. Solid Waste will be picked up on its regular schedule on Friday, July 3; pickups will be delayed by one day the following week.
Arlington: All town offices will be closed on Friday.
Lakeland: Town Hall and the Lakeland Senior Center will be closed on Friday. There will be no delay in trash pickups.