4th of July: Here's (almost) everything you should know


Everything you need to know (or at least most of it) for planning your Fourth of July holiday weekend celebration.

You can read each of these sections in about 15 seconds – so it'll be quick!

Where to watch fireworks

Looking for a new spot to watch the fireworks?

Explore Minnesota has a list of Fourth of July fireworks celebrations around Minnesota. As does the Star Tribune, but their list focuses on the Twin Cities area specifically, and also includes a map.

The weather should be decent

By fireworks time on the Fourth of July, the weather should be clear, dry and comfortable for Minnesotans.

Wherever you are, expect temps in the mid-60s to upper 70s around 10 p.m. Saturday. Storms could then roll in overnight.

Click here for a closer look at forecasts around the state.

The traffic ... might be tougher

The July 4 holiday is expected to be the busiest for travel in the past eight years, and Minnesotans may experience a longer wait on the roads due to ongoing construction projects around the state.

Sunday afternoon traffic should be the worst; expect a slow drive getting back home.

Click here to see a list of closures you'll want to know about.

Fireworks are dangerous

When celebrating at home with some fireworks, be careful.

The state fire marshal says last year 71 people went to the hospital for fireworks injuries. 15 of them were under 10 years old.

The fire marshal says be especially cautious of sparklers, which burn at more than 1,200 degrees and are the most common culprit of fireworks injuries.

Check out some guidelines published by the West Central Tribune.

They're also bad for the air

According to the NOAA, researchers found levels of fine particles in the air (tiny bits that can get into your lungs) increase by 42 percent on the night of the Fourth of July.

People who might be sensitive to that – such as those dealing with asthma – are encouraged to watch fireworks upwind, or from as far away as possible.

Be mindful of veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 11-20 percent of veterans who served in the Middle East suffer from PTSD, CNN reports. Loud noises, such as fireworks or gunfire, can trigger a reaction.

The Facebook group Military with PTSD helps send out signs that can be put outside a home, letting neighbors know a warning would be appreciated before any fireworks are set off nearby.

Which fireworks are legal?

WCCO sums it up easily: "If it flies or explodes, it's illegal." Click here to read their "Dos and dont's" guide.

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