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Take advantage of local July 4 events

by: Carole Archer, Blue Lake Park, Corbett and Sandy offer fireworks displays Tuesday night.

For those who want to avoid high gas prices as well as the cost of buying their own personal fireworks, we have a suggestion: Take advantage of the ever-expanding July 4 celebration options in East County.

Down at Blue Lake Park, the new Riverview Restaurant (part of the Yoshida Group) is the presenting sponsor for an annual celebration that will include music, food offerings and a major fireworks display at dusk. The festival's official opening ceremony is at 6 p.m., but many people come early for a family picnic in the park.

Equally impressive fireworks displays will be found at the venerable Corbett Fun Festival, which is in its 36th year, and at the Sandy Fourth of July celebration. The Corbett festival opens at 11 a.m. with a parade, while Sandy's event is mostly an evening affair, with fireworks at dusk.

Although the July 4 holiday is traditionally a time to travel, the number of local festivals ought to encourage residents to stay closer to home. They'll be safer by not leaving town - and they'll also be safer if they leave the fireworks display to the professionals.