Charles Kocher, Pilot staff writer

For more than a decade, things were fairly quiet in Brookings around the Fourth of July, save for the annual fireworks display a the Port of Brookings Harbor.

Residents were more likely to head south to Crescent City or north to Gold Beach for daytime festivals, car shows and other related holiday events. This year, however, we are proud to report that Brookings is taking its rightful place as one of the premiere places on the coast for Fourth of July fun.

Residents and tourists can stay close to home and enjoy many exciting, day-time events right here in the Brookings-Harbor area today. (A complete list of events for Curry and Del Norte counties can be found on Page 1B in today's issue.)

Yes, the traditional crowd-pleasing fireworks show at the Port of Brookings Harbor is scheduled for approximately 10 p.m., but earlier today there is a variety of events featuring live bluegrass music, field games, a childrens' parade, and chili cook-off!

Most of the events are hosted by the community's nonprofit organizations, and serve as fundraisers. While most of the events are free, we suggest people drop a dollar or two in the donation tip jars. We're sure local vendors will appreciate your business, too. Every little bit helps these days.

The weekend weather forecast for the area is sunshine and highs in mid 70s. So stoke up those barbecues, hit the beaches and rivers, and check out the local activities happening all day today.

Also, be safe when setting off your own fireworks. Be aware of the factors such as excessive alcohol, heat, and lack of supervision and common sense that can lead to tragedy.

Keep your pets indoors and close by.

Happy Fourth of July!