Council extends firework hours

Staff writer

Peabody City Council voted Monday to extend hours fireworks can be discharged in the city.

The city’s fireworks ordinance includes an option to change the days and times people can discharge fireworks during the first week in July.

In past years, fireworks could be discharged until 10 p.m. each night unless July 4 fell on a Friday or a weekend, in which case they could be shot until midnight. The reasoning has been that many people need to go to work the day after the celebration.

This year the council extended the hours on July 3 and 4 to midnight. That makes the hours 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 1 and 2 and 8 a.m. to midnight July 3 and 4.

The council extended the hours to give families a chance to enjoy more than just firecrackers, especially on Independence Day.

“By the time everyone gets home from the park on the Fourth, there is no time left to enjoy the fireworks that make everyone go, ‘Oh,’” Mayor Larry Larsen said. “So what that means is that kids can shoot the noisy ones during the day, but the pretty ones or sparkly ones that can only be enjoyed against a dark sky are not allowed, because there isn’t time after the fireworks show.”

“I agree,” council member Janice Woodruff said. “And people don’t pay any attention to the regulations anyway. Let them shoot until midnight and enjoy themselves. It’s only one day or so a year.”

Most members made similar comments, and the council voted unanimously to hold the shooting time until 10 p.m. July 1 and 2 but to allow extended hours July 3 and 4.

The ordinance also provides for the following:

  • Only class C or common fireworks can be shot in the city limits.
  • Fireworks can be shot only on private property with permission of the owner or lawful occupant. No public or city property can be used for shooting fireworks. That includes streets, alleys, sidewalks, and public areas such as parks and other city property.
  • Trash is to be picked up after discharging fireworks.
  • No fireworks may be shot in, into, or under any motorized vehicle, nor can they be thrown from any vehicle.
  • Fireworks may not be shot within 50 feet of a retail fireworks stand or a gasoline station.

The ordinance also allows the police chief, fire chief, or their authorized representatives to confiscate fireworks used in violation of the rules.

For more information, contact Police Chief Bruce Burke, (620) 983-2771.

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