The City of Winters is hosting the annual July 3 Fireworks Show this Sunday at the Dr. Sellers Football Field and Winters High School baseball fields.
Gates open to the public beginning at 5 p.m. Music, food trucks and vendor tents will be available to the community at the event. Food trucks will be located on Hemenway Street. Vendor booths will be set up next to the stadium bleachers.
The fireworks show is anticipated to run from 9:15–9:45 p.m.
A paid parking lot will be available at the Mariani Nut Co. parking area. Monies from parking will go toward supporting the fireworks show fun.
Entrance gates are available on Grant Avenue and on Hemenway Street.
City Manager Kathleen Salguero Trepa reminded the community in her City Manager update about the rules and guidelines for this year’s event are:
Alcohol, glass, tobacco or personal barbecues are not permitted at the event location. Any alcohol or glass bottles will need to be disposed of in order to enter. Bags will be checked at the gate entrance.
No usage of the track. The field will be open to seating.
There is no access to the event through the Winters High School campus.
No personal fireworks on the track, in the Mariani parking lot or at the event.
Attendees cannot sit in what has been designated as the Safe Zone.
Attendees are asked to throw out trash in garbage cans that will be staged around the field and at the field exits.
Reporting illegal fireworks
Following last July 4 weekend, the Winters Police Department reported they had made a total of nine arrests, seized 14.5 pounds of illegal fireworks, gave two fireworks related citations and 12 traffic related citations.
Police Chief John P. Miller told the Express last year over 5,000 people attended the fireworks show.
In May, Winters City Council approved a resolution ordinance and added a municipal code that would give law enforcement officials the ability to issue administrative citations to residents for the use of illegal fireworks on their property.
Under the new ordinance, law enforcement would be able to issue an administrative citation to property owners at a later time and not be required to view the incident.
In the City of Winters, “Safe and Sane” fireworks are are allowed. Miller said they are trying to target illegal and dangerous fireworks, and in particular, aerial fireworks that are often seen in the sky over neighborhoods.
Safe and Sane fireworks are not explosives, not aerially launched, and are tested and approved by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
Under the ordinance addition, property owners can be held liable for illegal fireworks that are set off at a gathering or party they are hosting on their property. This is similar to other social host ordinances including alcohol and noise.
The administrative citation can be given by police officers, firefighters and city code enforcement officers at a later date to the property owner. Miller noted there have been challenges in attempting to address the issue face-to-face at a gathering when attendees have been consuming intoxicating materials.
Miller said law enforcement will be able to utilize evidence in the form of video, photographs or other evidence presented in the form of a citizen’s report.
Under the ordinance, property owners can get “an out” of the $1,000 fine if they themselves call to report the use of illegal fireworks on their property or attempt to take action to put a stop to it, according to Miller.
“If they do that, they are not held liable under the ordinance,” Miller said.
Miller said the community should be aware that under the ordinance, although the threshold of required evidence has been lowered (officers do not have to view it in action) WPD still will be relying on citizens to report illegal fireworks in.
“We still need people to come forward. They don’t need to sign a citizen’s arrest,” Miller said. “We still need people to come forward and provide accurate information.”
In the meantime, the use of illegal fireworks can be sent to WPD via the tips email or called in to the regular dispatch (non emergency) line at 530-795-4561. When reporting, Miller said it’s important to provide accurate identification of people and a date timestamp on photos.
“The more information they are able to provide, the more likely we’ll be able to follow up,” Miller said.