Mike and I spent a pleasant day in Big Sky and took a quick hike to Beehive Basin, a beautiful place but one we've been to many times. Nothing new or hugely inspirational but the walking time got me thinking about the firework situation in town. I've been meaning to write down thoughts about this topic for a few years now and the lack of big adventure to write up has given me the chance to record my musings.
Bozeman over the July 4th holiday is an interesting place to be. On the one hand, there are the nearby mountains, which are always a source of inspiration and a great way to spend the day. On the other hand, there is the surreal experience of being in the fireworks crazed Bozeman on July 4th itself. Bozemanites exuberance over fireworks is perplexing and after 12 years of living here, I still don’t get it. I guess loud, stinky, expensive things that go BOOM! are just not my thing, but apparently they are appealing to plenty of others.
I marvel at the amount of money people spend on fireworks and the frequency in which they are blasted. You can expect a solid five to seven days of explosions surrounding the holiday even though Bozeman City ordinance states "Fireworks can only be discharged July 3 from noon to midnight, July 4 from noon to 1 a.m. and July 5 from noon to midnight."
I’m not sure what the rules are like elsewhere but of all of the places I’ve lived, I’ve never lived in one in which fireworks are shot off constantly around the holiday. After almost a week of incessant explosions, one becomes immune to the noise and interestingly Mike and I slept through the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that rumbled through the area at around 12:30 a.m. on July 6.
While Bozeman is increasingly modern, trendy, and growing town, the firework scene reminds me that the redneck side of the city is still alive and well. It’s not just “those people” who are living in the newer subdivisions or “all those rich people” who moving in that are spending a fortune on explosives, it is all sorts of people. I was reminded of this a few years back as I biked from my home to a party across town – distance of under three miles. Fireworks, their noise, and their stink followed me the entire time through a variety of neighborhoods. Additionally, for several years now, as I bike from my home on the north east side of town to my job on campus the day after the holiday, I pass through a variety of neighborhoods including Bozeman’s oldest and most historic, and all have remains for fireworks littering the ground.
What’s the fireworks scene like over the Independence Day holiday where you live? Share your stories in the comments section of this post.
You can find out more about fireworks rules in Bozeman including some hot tips such as don’t shoot off fireworks in a moving car. http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/don-t-forget-fireworks-laws-this-fourth-of-july/article_511f467d-e8f6-5c83-a4e7-f2c008a5bc31.html