Fireworks cancelled in Sedley, Boykins

Published 11:56 am Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dry conditions from a lack of rain has led to the cancellation of Saturday’s fireworks in Sedley and Sunday’s Fourth of July Celebration in Boykins.

Fireworks, however, remain scheduled for Windsor at 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

“We’ve had to do this once before,” Anita Felts, chairwoman with the Sedley Recreation Association Board, said Friday about canceling the annual Fourth of July display. “It’s not an easy decision. Everybody looks forward to it all year long, but then you have to step outside the box. This is a safety issue. We have to think about the community.”

Boykins Mayor Spier Edwards on Friday postponed the town’s Fourth of July fireworks and festivities in Raymond Parker Park and rescheduled everything for Saturday, Sept. 4, over the Labor Day weekend.

“We feel like without the fireworks, you don’t draw a crowd,” Edwards said. “We ordered the food, but there’s no problem. We can cancel it.”

Fire officials in Boykins felt it was best to not shoot off fireworks because the nearby woods are very dry.

“We don’t want to put anyone in danger or their property,” Edwards said. “We have a couple of houses that are close by.”

The Virginia Department of Forestry has not issued a ban on fireworks anywhere in the state, department spokesman Gregg O’Donnell said Friday from Charlottesville.

“Generally conditions are very dry across the state,” O’Donnell said. “Many community displays have been planned and some are taking place. There may be individual local decisions (to cancel fireworks).”

Sedley Recreation Association raises money all year for its 15- to 20-minute fireworks display, which costs $3,000 to $3,500, Felts said. The board has discussed using that money for next year’s fireworks.

“That money will be put into an account,” she said.

The board made its decision to cancel the fireworks on Thursday.

“We had been talking about it all week and spoke with a few people on the fire department and our insurance provider,” Felts said. “Due to the dryness, if we actually did it, (and there was a fire) it would be negligence our part.”