Looking to make a big bang this Independence Day?
Bossier Parish residents have several options for celebrating America's 236th birthday. From live musical performances to staying home with family, there is something for everyone.
The day wouldn't be complete without a colorful, night time display. Rebecca Morales, a veteran in the fireworks industry, said products seem to get bigger and better every year.
This year, Morales is selling some big ticket items, such as Wake the Neighbor, Shock & Awe, Dirty Dozen and Top Gun – all of which she promises a lot of bang for your buck.
“You light it one time, sit back and watch them fly,” Morales said. “Bigger isn't always better, but in this case it definitely is.”
Fireworks come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can fulfill just about every age group. Then there are popular items like mortar tubes with single and multi-shot artilleries, fountains, bottle rockets and small novelty items.
Popular items with younger children, Morales said, are sparklers and small fireworks with controlled fuses. Trisha Cormany and her five-year-old son, Cason, stopped by Morales' stand at Airline Drive and Wemple Road to pick up a few traditional and newer items.
Despite the selection of large items, Cormany said she prefers items that are age appropriate for Cason.
“I try to pick things that are safer since he is younger,” Cormany said.
Morales said she tries to guide families toward age appropriate items while they shop. A tip she offers customers with smaller children is to use a protector, such as a plate or cup, between their body and the sparkler in order to keep them safe from flying sparks.
Morales said they will sell fireworks through midnight tomorrow or until everything is sold out. She also offers a discount to military, police and fire.
Although fireworks are a traditional part of Independence Day celebrations, they can be dangerous. Bossier Fire Chief Brad Zagone reminds the public to play it safe if they choose to celebrate with fireworks.
Always purchase fireworks from a reputable retail outlet.
Never shoot off fireworks indoors.
Young children should never be given fireworks to handle alone. Responsible adult supervision is a must.
Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
Use a “punk” to ignite fireworks. Never use an open flame such as a cigarette lighter or match.
Never shoot, aim or throw fireworks at people or animals.
Keep a garden hose or bucket of water handy for emergencies. Never try to re-ignite fireworks that have malfunctioned. Douse with water and wait 15 minutes before properly disposing.
Be aware of dry conditions. Never ignite fireworks on or near dry vegetation. Doing so could spark fires.
Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings and flammable materials.
But fireworks aren’t the only way to celebrate this July 4th.
Leading the band is 14-year-old guitarist and vocalist Matthew Davidson of Shreveport. Davidson jumped into the music scene two years ago and has made his name known around the country.
After browsing his dad's CD collection, Davidson said he was introduced to music icons – The Beetles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Elvis.
Davidson picked up a guitar for the first time at the age of three and won his first electric guitar in the 2007 James Burton Guitar Showdown. Five years later, Davidson added a Robert Johnson Signature Gibson L-1 guitar to his collection as the recipient of the 2011 Robert Johnson New Generation Award.
The award, which recognizes promising young blues musicians, is an annual honor given in memory of the King of the Delta Blues Singers.
“It's an honor to be recognized by the Johnson family because [Robert] is the grandfather of the blues,” Davidson said.
Not only does he draw inspiration from the blues, but classic rock sensations. From one genre to the next, Davidson said each have led him to finding new musicians he finds inspirational.
“All of the classics have introduced me to new genres of music like blues and pop,” he said. “They also helped me find some of my favorite guitarists that I look up to.”
Nationally, Davidson has performed at the B.B. King Museum and the B.B. King Homecoming Concert in Indianola, MS and the Delta Blues Fest in Greenville, MS. Locally, Davidson plays The Strand Theatre and the Municipal Auditorium, home of the famous Louisiana Hayride.
Although he's on the road often, Davidson said there's nothing that compares to playing for a hometown crowd.
“Every gig is special to me, but playing for people who have supported and helped you from the beginning is more meaningful,” he said.
Davidson said his performance tonight will include classic rock tunes as well as modern hits from John Mayer and Maroon 5.
“There's going to be something for everyone,” he said.
Joining Davidson on stage will be Kyle McClanahan on drums and Greg Walton on keyboard. The Matthew Davidson Band will perform under the Texas Street bridge tonight from 6:30 until 8:30.
Matthew is the son of Alan and Ella Davidson. For more information on the Matthew Davidson Band, visit www.matthewdavidson.net