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A few weeks after Juneteenth, the U.S. will celebrate its birthday on July 4.

As in years past, Covington, Oxford, Porterdale and Social Circle will have their annual Fourth of July celebrations, including many free firework shows, but we know for many folks the fun of setting off fireworks at home can't be beat.

Just be aware as you buy those fireworks, whether in Georgia or out of state, that many common fireworks are not allowed to be set off in Georgia. The safe rule of thumb is "if it flies, don't buy."

The only fireworks legal in Georgia are "wire or wood sparklers, snake and glow worms, trick noise makers which include paper streamers, party poppers, string poppers, snappers and drop pops," while firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles, bombs and even sparklers are illegal in Georgia.

We know that many people can safely set off these firecrackers, but the rules are there for a reason. Too many people don't watch out for their own safety or the safety of others.

We don't want to see any of our leaders or their families get hurt celebrating our country's independence.

We urge you to let the professionals set off the fireworks so that your day of celebration a pleasant one.