Having a blast

About 40,000 watch downtown fireworks

Video: People watch the Augusta fireworks from the 13th Street bridge.
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An estimated 40,000 people gathered downtown Sunday night to watch Augusta's July 4 fireworks display.

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Fireworks light up the sky over the Riverwalk during the July Fourth Celebration Sunday.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Fireworks light up the sky over the Riverwalk during the July Fourth Celebration Sunday.

Graylin and Jacqueline Heath said they have brought their daughters to the show since they were little girls.

"We have come down here every year," said Graylin Heath. "We have tapes and T-shirts."

They used to record videos of the fireworks and their daughters, now 17 and 19, but now the girls are more interested in talking to their friends who come to Riverwalk Augusta for the big blast.

The Heaths parked at the Richmond County Board of Education and set up chairs along Reynolds Street for an easy exit.

Thousands more gathered on the levee slopes to watch the fireworks, which were set off from the South Caro­lina end of the Fifth Street bridge.

"We have been here since 4 o'clock," said April Dubose and Whitney Kent, best friends from Augusta who had bought matching red, white and blue plaid dresses for the Fourth.

Also arriving early for the 9:30 p.m. show were Joan and Johnnie Stephens, of Aiken.

"It's a lot of fun," said Johnnie Steph­­ens, wearing a shirt patterned with horses and American flags. "It's the time of year to celebrate and be patriotic."

One vendor attributed the high turnout in part to temperatures that were about six degrees cooler than normal. About 9 p.m. it was 81 degrees in Augusta.

Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215
or susan.mccord@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (4) Add comment
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shamrock
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shamrock 07/04/10 - 11:40 pm
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Why fight the crowds

Why fight the crowds downtown?? ... come to Columbia County where some awesome but illegal fireworks are going on all over the place. They're just like illegal aliens! Law enforcement see them ... and ignore them. Next year I'm getting the good stuff from North Augusta, coming back to CC and dare the Sheriff's Department to say a word!

countyman
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countyman 07/04/10 - 11:55 pm
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I guess it depends on what

I guess it depends on what part of the metro you live in... People in North Augusta can see the downtown fireworks from their homes. There would be no need to drive to Grovetown.

OnlyinAgs
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OnlyinAgs 07/05/10 - 12:10 am
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Hey chronicle this is what it

Hey chronicle this is what it looks like when SEVERAL thousands are together in one place. I don't think this many was at the tea party rally at the Commons like your headline today said, LOL.

teachingthemasses
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teachingthemasses 07/05/10 - 09:48 am
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Anybody know what time the

Anybody know what time the fireworks show ended last night?

lsmith
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lsmith 07/05/10 - 11:29 am
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Shamrock: Personal fireworks
Unpublished

Shamrock: Personal fireworks use is, illegal in all of Georgia, not just Columbia County. I can assure you more fireworks were set off by Richmond County residents than Columbia County, why pick on Columbia County? Are you maddest at residents from using the fireworks or the sheriff's department for not trying to arrest people for them?
Personally, I think the Georgia fireworks laws are draconian. The risk is no different in Georgia than it is in South Carolina. South Carolina just takes a more permissive, if not progressive view of the reality of fireworks use. If Columbia County law enforcement is giving some "common sense" leeway in their handling of fireworks use, I'm glad to see it. Probabaly the only ones complaining is codgers like yourself who obviously can't stand the thought of someone skirting the law a bit once a year for some what's considered old time fun in other parts of the country.
I'm also glad to see you willing to "dare" Columbia County Deputies to "say a word" to you next year when you do it. Sheriff Whittle loves to accomodate wisecrackers as to what he can and cannot do. But, then again, maybe he'll just give you a little leeway too.

lsmith
105
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lsmith 07/05/10 - 11:48 am
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ONLYINAGS: Who's counting,
Unpublished

ONLYINAGS: Who's counting, and who cares. Would you like a cup of my tea? Just made it fresh. It will go perfectly with B&B cognac or Grand Marnier

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