At last week’s community meeting regarding Snoqualmie’s new fireworks law, Police Chief McCulley said one of the compromises in establishing the law which bans aerial fireworks, was that a professional community fireworks show would replace all the small, ‘neighborhood shows’ that traditionally occur within neighborhoods on July 4th.
Enter www.servesnoqualmie.org, the “serving arm” of Church on the Ridge, which is leading the effort to fundraise and put on the first professional fireworks show at Snoqualmie Community Park.
Serve Snoqualmie chairman, Jeff Mihal, said they’ve raised about $10,000 in a short amount of time – and have a goal of raising another $10,000 for this year’s show.
Many things are still in the planning stages, but organizers say the show it set to start at 9:45PM on the 4th of July and will last about 15 minutes. Community members are invited to start gathering around 7PM, though.
While you wait for the show to begin, there will be pizza and soda sold, which will also help fund the 2016 display (if needed) and the 2017 fireworks display, too.
There is also a strong possibility that bouncy houses will be on-site and popcorn and candy will be for sale from approved vendors.
Serve Snoqualmie says residents can still donate on their website, and say if you donate even half of what you’d normally spend on your own fireworks, the show would be funded in no time.
New Fireworks Law and Enforcement, Be Ready for Penalties
SPD Chief McCulley and Snoqualmie Fire Chief Mark Corriera said both departments will have extra personnel on duty this 4th of July, with McCulley adding that the department is serious about citing residents who possess and/or ignite now illegal fireworks.
The city will also be posting signs at every neighborhood entrance reminding residents that aerial fireworks are illegal, as well as buying reminder notice space in local papers, and activating their reverse 911 system with a reminder. The chiefs said it will be very clear to residents that the fireworks law has changed.
McCulley also said he informed the city council when they passed the ordinance banning aerial fireworks, officers would have to enforce it. So, he said if they see aerials going off, or get complaints from neighbors, they plan to respond and issue fines – $250 civil infraction for possessing illegal fireworks and $750 for lighting them off.
He said it will no longer be difficult for officers to determine if someone is lighting off an illegal (per state law) vs. previously-legal-in-Snoqualmie fireworks. In 2016, if it flies high or makes a loud boom – officers will know it is not legal.
When asked about the burden of proof required for the infractions, McCulley responded that the fines are civil infractions and the same burden of proof is not required as for criminal infractions.
New Fireworks Law, What’s Legal
The only kind of fireworks allowed in Snoqualmie city limits include ground fireworks, hand-held sparking devices and smoke devices – and can be discharged on July 4th from 9AM to midnight to celebrate of Independence Day.
Per the new law, aerial firework devices of any kind may not be possessed or discharged within city limits at any time. Possession and/or discharge will result in fines mentioned above.