With a predicted zero percent chance of rain, a fireworks show in Rockdale and events in Social Circle today will pose the threat of a crowded Fourth of July in Newton County.
The events go on all day from 10 a.m. through 11 p.m. with plenty of people on the roads, both in town and on I-20; few clouds will make for a hot day, and there will be plenty of alcoholic beverages and festive but explosive fireworks.
Authorities urge safety in all aspects of the day’s activities.
“Don’t drink and drive,” CPD captain Ken Malcom said. “If you must drink, have a designated driver. Police will be out more heavily than on normal weekends due to the fact that we want to try to make the streets safer.”
CPD will have extra officers working the Square for Covington’s Fourth of July festivities. The area will be blocked off to traffic starting a block off the Square. Parking will be accessible in the city’s parking deck and Sharp Stadium, where the Chamber of Commerce’s rented trolley will provide shuttle service. The trolley will also operate as a shuttle for handicap pickup by the county’s administrative building and drop off near Amici Italian Cafe.
“We’ll be prepared,” Malcom said. “We’ll have a huge presence to help with any traffic concerns, medical emergencies or police-related issues that may arise. We anticipate a smooth Fourth.”
For those not attending Covington’s Fourth of July festivities, authorities are urging caution with fireworks, which are limited in their legality. Mortars and other aerial fireworks are illegal in Georgia. CPD urges caution with fireworks, using proper fire-safety procedures when using sparklers, fountains, firecrackers, etc.
“We need to make sure people are aware that fireworks can be dangerous,” Covington Police Assistant Chief Almond Turner said. “Do not allow your children to use fireworks.”
Also dangerous is gunfire, in which shooting into the air is prohibited. Yet, CPD is on the watch for any Independence
Day celebratory gun fire.
“It’s prohibited,” Malcom said. “We encourage people to use common sense.
“Prepare for heavy traffic in any travel around Atlanta. Locally our Square will be an excellent location to go to view fireworks and be part of the music, food and fun. We anticipate big crowds; try to get there early.”