Fireworks Are Canceled Everywhere; Is This the Year Without a Fourth of July?

Jul 2, 2012 at 9:51 am
click to enlarge This asshole can pack up his shit and go anytime now.
This asshole can pack up his shit and go anytime now.
The region's continued dry stretch and the oppressive heat are forcing municipalities to cancel or delay Independence Day fireworks displays. The risk of fire is just too great, and so Arnold, Chesterfield, Columbia (IL), Ellisville, Eureka, Farmington, Kirkwood, Pacific, Potosi, Washington (MO), Webster Groves and Six Flags have all called off their regularly scheduled fireworks. Manchester has chosen to delay its Fourth of July celebrations until August 3, in the hopes that the region receives some rain between now and then.

Hope springs eternal, I guess.

Of course if your neighborhood is anything like mine, kids have been setting off fireworks in backyards and street corners since last week. There have been far fewer than normal, but the die-hards are still out there. St. Louis County police would like to put a stop to that, however.

"I'm not sure if people realize it, but in St. Louis County you can not possess or set off fireworks at all," says St. Louis County Police spokesman Rick Eckhard. Fireworks in this case means anything you can think of that you light and run away from, from the biggest M-80 to those dinky glow worms, which are the Play-Doh Fun Factory of celebratory explosives. County police will be issuing summons and fines ($50 to $1,000 per violation) if they catch you lighting it up anytime in the coming week.

And your chances aren't any better in St. Louis City. The city issued a statement reminding us that fireworks shot off by regular citizens are forbidden year-round. "We will be rigorously enforcing these laws," said Chief of Police Dan Isom.

So does that mean that this will be the year without a Christmas in July? Not entirely. Our intrepid Mayor Slay tweeted a reminder/invitation last night:

Those fireworks of which he speaks comprise the long-standing Fair St. Louis incendiary extravaganza. The Fair lights it up on July 4, 6 and 7 under the Arch.

And just this morning, Alderman Antonio French announced that he's arranged for a huge, professional display in North St. Louis and everyone's invited. Working with the approval of Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, French hired Gateway Fireworks Display to set up a big 'n' sparkly show in O'Fallon Park on Wednesday, July 4. The whole shebang goes off at 9:15 p.m. over the lake (for safety's sake), and admission is free.