July 4 festivities in Fayette County went smoothly and safely, according to authorities.
“Fire in the Sky” sponsored fireworks occurred on Wednesday in Washington Court House and the Lion’s Club sponsored fireworks occurred in Jeffersonville on Thursday.
Many people went out to join in the festivities. Various responders helped to maintain safety during the holiday and will continue to do so through the holiday weekend.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Andy Bivens said, “I think everything went very well. We were relatively quiet over the holiday. Of course the weekend’s not over yet and a lot of people have made this a long weekend.”
Sheriff Vernon Stanforth said, “Fireworks in Washington Court House and Jeffersonville went off well. There was good attendance at both and traffic flow was good afterwards. It was a good holiday.”
“They thought perhaps this was the 50th consecutive Fourth of July parade in Jeffersonville. Many communities have given up on that. My hat’s off to them for being persistent and staying true to their patriotism,” said Stanforth.
“They had a nice event downtown with a lot of vendors, things for the kids to do and bands. If anybody missed it they missed a nice, hometown event,” he added.
When Stanforth was asked if he was able to spend time with his family during the holiday he said, “We got to watch the fireworks with our family but other than that it was a non-eventful Stanforth holiday.”
He explained, “The 3rd and the 4th are not days off for many of us. We were busy with the various events and out most of Thursday until 10:30 at night.”
Stanforth said his staff “doesn’t complain, although many of them would like to have the holidays off with their families. We try to provide time somewhere around the holiday season for all the staff to set aside but we’re a 24 hour seven day a week operation, so somebody has to work.”
Bivens attempted to take Friday off in an attempt to spend time with his family, but said, “I’ll go in if the phone rings.”
“Fortunately the Sheriff’s Auxiliary took care of the traffic details on July 3rd as well as July 4th in Jeffersonville,” said Stanforth. “Washington Court House Police Department handled the traffic coming into the city and the fairgrounds. Auxiliary handled the traffic at Walmart and further south.”
So far, there have been no major traffic crashes, as Bivens explained “everybody’s driving sensibly.”
“Getting people moving and keeping people from getting ran over, minimizing accidents. My hat’s off to the Auxiliary…they did a wonderful job,” said Stanforth.
“My full-time people had to deal with a lot of family disputes. Sometimes it just takes someone level-headed to come in and settle things down. Some families don’t get along any day of the year let alone a holiday. They think they can get along during the holiday but some of them can’t,” Stanforth said.
“My guys did a wonderful job. They did what they were supposed to do and did it well,” he added.
Jeffersonville Township Fire Department was on stand-by during the Jeffersonville fireworks.
During Fire in the Sky, John Kemme was on stand-by as the fire inspector for the event. Kemme is both a firefighter for the Washington Fire Department and a state-certified fire inspector.
Kemme’s responsibilities included keeping spectators behind barriers, making sure the fire department had access if they were needed and taking care of documentation with Jay Post. Post was the licensed exhibitor for the event.
“Everything went very smooth. Dan Fowler, Jay Post and their crew are very good at what they do. I’ve known them all for years, especially since Fowler is the former fire chief. They’ve got a good crew and they put on a good show,” said Kemme.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-463-1225.