Fireworks have been part of Independence Day celebrations since the founding of the nation. Forrest Wickman, who writes Slate’s Explainer column, explained the Independence Day fireworks tradition in 2012. He said John Adams wrote to his wife on July 3, 1776, suggesting the country’s independence should be celebrated “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” His vision became a reality the following year on July 4 when the Philadelphia Commons was lit up with fireworks.
Is it time for a change after 237 years of fireworks displays across the nation on July 4? While the sparkle and pop is still routine in much of the United States, here are some places July 4 fireworks have been canceled or face potential cancelation this year.
Cost and Safety Concerns
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune said the Powderhorn Park community in Minneapolis won’t be holding its traditional fireworks display this year. Its organizers cited multiple reasons including insufficient police to patrol the event, cost ($5,000 last year just for fireworks), and increasing difficulty finding suppliers for the small celebration. Last year, Powderhorn experienced issues with crowds breaking through safety fences, fights, and a foodtruck robbery.
Minneapolis hosts a larger celebration at its riverfront downtown.
Environmental Impacts Resolved, Money Lacking
La Jolla, California won’t be hosting a fireworks celebration at Scripps Park this year, ending a thirty-year tradition, unless donors come forward with the $30,000 needed for the event to proceed. In 2010 through 2012, lawsuits by environmentalists demanding environmental impact statements threatened to curtail the fireworks, but each time, the fireworks advocates persevered and the show went on.
Jackson County, N.C., elected officials won’t be drawing funds out of county coffers so residents can see the rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air as they celebrate Independence Day. According to the Sylva Herald, the county didn’t set aside funds for a fireworks display this year due to cost, declining interest, and weather uncertainties. Private groups stepped up to create alternative displays in the southern portion of the county.
$5 in Coffers
In Pequot Lakes, Minn., there’s but $5 in the Chamber of Commerce coffers to pay for fireworks. If donations don’t build up to $3,200 by June 9, the display will be a no go, the Pine and Lakes Echo reported, ending a thirty-year tradition.