Firework Celebrations Begin Early

July 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
4th of July celebrations got off to an explosive start Thursday night, as several Valley communities hosted their annual firework displays. Thousands of people went to see fireworks explode over Selma High School's stadium Thursday night and the crowds started growing long before the sun set. In all, a record crowd of about 8,000 attended."We usually go to Kingsburg, and Kingsburg's program was canceled. They usually do it on a Thursday, so the family decided to come out here," said Gursharan Rahal of Kingsburg.

The football field was filled with signs of patriotism Thursday night. For many in Selma, the celebration is a 4th of July holiday tradition. "It's just a nice time to get together and also remember the different parts of what it's like to be an American," said Melissa Layne of Selma.

For others, the celebration was also a part of a 4th of July holiday they'll spend closer to home. In an exclusive Action News poll conducted by Survey USA, 80 percent of people surveyed said they were not traveling this weekend. And 57 percent said the price of gasoline has caused them to cancel or change their plans for the holiday.

"That's another reason we come on the 3rd [of July]. We usually go to Morro Bay on the 4th... but not this year," said Cathy Wallace of Fresno.

"We kinda were going travel, leave for the 4th of July. But due to all the gas prices, we decided it would be best to just stay home, barbecue, swim, and spend time with the family," said Mary Helen Gonzalez of Visalia.

While it may not be the celebration some families initially had in mind, Selma's firework display didn't disappoint. "My favorite part is the finale. There is just a lot of fireworks at one time... cause it has lots of colors, and it's really big," said Maci Layne of Selma.