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July 4th To Be Celebrated In Mother Lode Style

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Activities abound this weekend in the Mother Lode for Independence Day.

A spectacular fireworks display is planned at Ironstone Vineyards, along with good music, says Zac Apley from Ironstone Marketing.

“We´re having Shane Dwight perform. He´s an up and coming blues man. He performed last year with Charlie Musclewhite and he´s headlining this year,” Apley says.

The gates at Ironstone Vineyards open at 4:30 tomorrow afternoon, and the fireworks will start just after sunset, “about 9:30, really when it gets dark,” Apley added. “It´s going to be really exciting, better than last year, and with a few surprises.”

If lakeside fireworks are more your style, the Don Pedro Recreation Agency is sponsoring Fireworks On The Water. The show can be viewed from the Blue Oaks Group Area, the Don Pedro Visitors Center, or from the water.

And for an Independence Day alternative, Railtown 1897 in Jamestown is offering the Firecracker Express Train and Picnic on Sunday.

“We´re going to have entertainment on both legs of the trip aboard the train,” says spokesman Paul Hammond. “And then afterwards, in the park, the Columbia, a jazz group, will be there while the eating is taking place.”

Hammond said departure had been scheduled for 5pm Sunday, but “it´s now going to depart at 4, so that when the train gets back, more around the 5 o´clock hour, that´s when the picnic will kick in.”

The Railtown festivities start at 4pm Sunday. Plan ahead though, since reservations are required and seating aboard the train is limited.

And officials with the fire department want to remind everyone that fireworks are for the professionals.

Hundreds of injuries are reported and hundreds of thousand of dollars in fire damage to property happens every year because of illegal fireworks and because of improperly used safe and sane fireworks.

The general rule, according to fire officials, is that if it flies up in the air or explodes, it´s simply illegal.

In all of Tuolumne County, and in much of Calaveras County, fireworks are against the law.

The fire department urges residents to report any fires as soon as possible.

Officials also say that if children cause a fire, the parents could have to pay the costs of putting the fire out, so make sure to keep an eye on your children.

Ironstone Vineyards, Murphys (209) 728-1251

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (209) 984-3953

Don Pedro Recreation Agency (209) 852-2396