Is It Time For Sanibel To Bring Back Fourth of July Fireworks

by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes

Timing is everything. We’ve said it over and over because it’s true and we find it applying to the Fourth of July. Unwittingly, the founding fathers of the United States gave us a holiday with perfect timing.

Although most signers of the Declaration of Independence did so on Aug. 2, 1776, July 4 is the day it was ratified and signed by a few. So July 4 is the day we celebrate. Perfect timing. It comes within a week or so of being halfway to Christmas and gives us a reason to celebrate in the summer. Which we do. If it came at any other time of the year, it would be a dud.

The Fourth is no dud. John Adams predicted monumental celebrations by succeeding generations and fireworks have been part of the festivities since nearly as far back as the country’s beginning. It’s the day to be happy, cook out, watch fireworks. Except the past two years have been different times – no Independence Day fireworks.

But is it time to bring back the fireworks? In a hearty discussion Tuesday, a majority of our council members said no. Instead, this may be the right time to discard the island’s traditional half-hour Independence Day fireworks show.

They are detonated from the end of Bailey Road, over the San Carlos Bay. Concern was raised over the heavy metals and chemicals that produce the brilliantly colored explosions we love to ooh and aah polluting the bay and degrading the air quality. And the loud booms scare wildlife.

Fireworks are prohibited on the island, for good reason, with this one traditional exception. Our environmental experts support the detonation location and see it as a good trade-off for 30 minutes of human enjoyment as we mark the the end of a perfectly-timed holiday honoring the birth of American independence.

Council members will discuss the fate of the island’s half-hour fireworks show in their May 3 meeting. Now is the time to voice your opinion.

Mayor Holly Smith:
Vice Mayor Richard Johnson:
Councilman Dr. Scott Crater:
Councilman John Henshaw:
Councilman Mike Miller:

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