How to Safely Make Your Fourth of July Sparkle!

The Fourth of July is a great way to honor our country's independence, but we need to do it safely!

Fourth of July is less than a week away and it’s not just a day that commemorates the United States’ independence – it’s a holiday that is celebrated with others, whether it be over a barbecue, or under a fireworks show. Fireworks themselves bring emotions of awe and wonder, but can be dangerous if not handled correctly. The following are some safety tips provided by the National Council on Fireworks Safety to follow this Fourth of July in an effort to enjoy the day and bask in independence without anyone getting harmed:

1. Use fireworks outdoors only. Indoor use is prohibited and a huge danger.

2. Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.

3. Always have water handy. A hose or a bucket will do.

4. Only use fireworks as intended. Refrain from trying to alter them or combine them.

5. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

6. Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.

7. Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. Have a “designated shooter”.

8. Check the age. Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.

9. Don’t ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives. Simply put, they can kill you. Report illegal explosives to the fire and police departments in your community.

10. Sparklers require special safety tips. When using sparklers, it’s important to always remain standing; never hold or light more than one at a time; wear closed-toe shoes; drop into a bucket of water once spent; never hand a lighted sparkler to another person; stand six feet from another person while in use; and properly teach children how to hold a sparkler.

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When All Else Fails, Send ‘Em to Camp!

The City of Long Beach is offering numerous summer camps to kids ages 5-12 from now until August 26!

Have no fear, summer camps are here! We all know how difficult it can be to keep our kids entertained, so instead of racking our brains over it, let’s take advantage of the numerous summer camps the City of Long Beach is offering this summer!

Long Beach Parks, Recreation, and Marine Summer Day Camps are now being offered to kids ages 5-12, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., from now until August 26, unless otherwise noted below. Extended hours are available from 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. for an additional $25 a week (a.m. or p.m.). Field trips are an additional charge. Please call the listed park for more information and application processing.

Park Camps

Now-September 20

$90/week ~ Ages 5-12

El Dorado Park: (562) 570-3225 and Silverado Park: (562) 570-1675

Now-August 26

$90/week ~ Ages 5-12

Stearns Champions Park: (562) 570-1685 and Veterans Park: (562) 570-1750

Pee Wee Camp

Now-August 26

$90/week ~ Ages 5-8

Wardlow Park: (562) 570-1705

Music & Arts Camp

Now-August 26

$100/week ~ Ages 5-12

Whaley Park: (562) 570-1710

High Five Sports Camp

Now-August 26

$90/week ~ Ages 5-12

Pan American Park: (562) 570-1660

Rancho Los Cerritos Summer Adventures

July 18-August 5, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

$90/week ~ Ages 6-12

(562) 570-1755


Fans Of Our Fathers!

Father's Day is this Sunday, June 19.

There’s a lot that can be said when it comes to our dads. For many of us, they are the rock in our family – the supporter, the leader, the protector. Boys grow up wanting to be just like them and girls grow up hoping to marry someone just like them. Regardless of what your dad is to you, the fact of the matter is that we wouldn’t be here without them.

In a few days, we’ll have the opportunity to show our dads how much we appreciate them. Whether it’s our dad, grandpa, uncle, nephew, brother, husband, child, neighbor, or mentor, this Sunday is the day to shower them with love. And contrary to popular belief, dads are actually pretty easy to give to. The options are endless! You could update their scent with a new cologne; treat them to a day at the golf course; take them to see their favorite team or band play;¬† spoil them at their favorite restaurant; or update their style with a new tie, watch, hat, cuff links, wallet, or shoes. And if you’re not looking to break the bank, you can cook them their favorite meal or dessert, mow the lawn, frame a family photo, wash their car, put together a scrapbook of childhood memorabilia, host a movie marathon of their favorite movies, and more.

No matter what is it that you do, just be sure they know they’re loved – not only this Sunday, but everyday!

And for those fathers that are history buffs, here’s some interesting facts on the origin of Father’s Day:

The first recorded observance of Father’s Day took place in Fairmont, West Viginia in July of 1908 and was organized by Grace Golden Clayton, who wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers who had been lost in the Monongah Mining disaster months prior in Monongah, West Virginia. Clayton chose the Sunday nearest to the birthday of her recently deceased father.

Unfortunately, the day was overshadowed by other events in the city and the state didn’t officially register the holiday, nor celebrate it again. Credit for Father’s Day was later given to Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington, who independently invented the holiday just two years later. Clayton’s celebration was forgotten until 1972, when one of the attendants to the celebration saw Nixon’s proclamation of Father’s Day and worked to recover its legacy.

In addition to Father’s Day, International Men’s Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men and boys who are not fathers.

Painting the Town Green!

The 3rd Annual Green Long Beach! Festival will take place tomorrow in downtown Long Beach!

The City of Long Beach will host the 3rd Annual Green Long Beach! Festival tomorrow, June 11 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. in downtown Long Beach at the Promenade at 3rd Street.

The event will feature seasoned sustainability experts that will help those interested in greening their homes and/or offices get started in the right direction. A cell phone recycling drive will also take place at the event, where old, new, working, and non-working phones can be dropped off for proper recycling. And in true Long Beach fashion, the festival will of course feature vendors, music, local artists, and educational workshops.

Join Ernst & Haas and the City of Long Beach as we try to make our city a healthier place to live!

Waterfront Park Grand Opening!

The Wilmington Waterfront Park is set to open tomorrow and will feature a variety of festivities!

The Port of Los Angeles is hosting a Grand Opening for the Wilmington Waterfront Park tomorrow, June 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The park is a 30-acre landscaped green space that will be open to the public.

The festivities will begin at C and Figueroa Streets and will include the Chivas USA Soccer Clinics (pre-registration required), performances by Mariachi Divas, Radio Disney, games and food, and guided tours of the park (wear comfortable walking shoes).

For more information, visit www.portoflosangeles.org.

First Friday Fun

Celebrate the first Friday of every month in Bixby Knolls fashion!

One of our favorite little gems of Long Beach is Bixby Knolls’ First Fridays. The event occurs the first Friday of every month on Atlantic Ave. between San Antonio Dr. and Bixby Rd. from 6:30-10 p.m. and features a mod-podge of food, entertainment, and shopping.

Tomorrow’s First Friday will include mobile art stations, 80’s dance music, DJs, spoken word, jazz, improv comedy, Timstrument, community drawing, tarot cards, drag queens, face painting, First Books, antiques, piano man, Big Red Bus, and the Knolls Ranger.

Councilman James Johnson’s “First Books at First Fridays” will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Dana Branch Library and feature special guest reader the Knolls Ranger.

The evening will also initiate “Seniors First! at First Fridays,” a program that brings senior citizens from Gold Star Manor to enjoy the night’s festivities.

When the event begins to dwindle down and businesses start to close, Nino’s Italian Restaurant, The Factory, and EJ Malloy’s will host “First Fridays After Hours” and offer food, drinks, and music late into the night.

For more information, maps, and restaurant recommendations, stop by Bella Cosa located at 3803 Atlantic in Bixby Knolls from 6-8:30 p.m. tomorrow evening.