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A recap of holiday festivities: travel, fireworks, and events

The holiday weekend for July 4th was filled with a lot of travel, fireworks, and local events.

California Highway Patrol is also pushing its holiday weekend efforts by continuing its maximum enforcement period. It's set to end at 11:59 pm Monday. During this period officers are expected to take the streets for targeted patrols. During last year's Independence Day crackdown, CHP reported arresting 738 motorists for DUI's through the state. In 2019, that number was at 1,317. CHP said by doing these crackdowns, it's sending a message that it will have a zero-tolerance for impaired drivers, and other traffic violators.

Illegal fireworks obtained by the Cathedral City Police Department

With many looking to the skies for fireworks, some fireworks were not legal. The Cathedral City Police Department (CCPD) said it responded to 113 calls of service regarding the use of illegal fireworks throughout the city. Police officials said four misdemeanor arrests were made for the possession of illegal fireworks. However, all four people were cited and released. Over 60 pounds of illegal fireworks were confiscated. There were instances where firework debris sparked fires. To learn more on the efforts from the Cathedral City Police Department, view: Cathedral City police crackdown on the use of illegal fireworks.

This year was the first for the city of Palm Springs opting for something a little different on the 4th of July. Hundreds of people gathered at Ruth Hardy Park for food, games, activities, music, and the grand finale: a laser light show.

“This is the first time we have done this. Normally we do a firework show but this year we were asked to do something a little bit different that is a bit more pet friendly and veteran friendly,” said Palm Springs director of parks and recreation, Cynthia Alvarado Crawford.

Residents had mixed reactions about the show. “As soon as those lasers came on, so many people left. We just kept seeing groups of people leaving,” said Genesis Huerta, Desert Hot Springs resident that attended the showing. She said her and her family enjoyed all the festivities and the atmosphere leading up to the laser show. Her biggest complaint was the lasers being blocked by the trees. “If they were to do it in a place where there’s no objects, such as trees, for it to be blocked. I feel like they could do it better and bigger," said Huerta.

Cody Downs caught a glimpse of the Palm Springs lasers from Yucca Valley. "The fireworks are such a cherished gem of #ID4. But considering the fire danger that grips SoCal annually, Taban: I think the laser show is an adequate substitute. (Both can even synch well with music!)," said Downs on Twitter.

Many seemed to just enjoy to be out enjoying festivities with their loved ones. “Not only our annual celebration for independence for the nation but also an independence from the pandemic as well,” said Crawford.
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Taban Sharifi

Taban Sharifi is a Meteorologist and Reporter with KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News & Weather Leader. Learn more about Taban here.


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