Fireworks Rules and Etiquette For a Friendly 4th of July
For years I publicly questioned why the state of Iowa was losing out on the seasonal income of fireworks sales. I was one of the many who crossed the border, bought fireworks in Wisconsin, and them set them off illegally at a 4th of July gathering back here in Iowa. Finally, in 2017, the state ended it's 80 year ban on fireworks. It's been all downhill from there.
Year one was like the wild, wild, West. Fireworks being set off everywhere, all the time. It wasn't bad in my neighborhood in Marion, but I heard plenty of other terrible stories from folks who lived elsewhere. Something had to be done. So then, lawmakers decided to give cities the right to forbid the USE of fireworks even though they were legal to buy there! Outstanding! That won't confuse people at all! Cities like Cedar Rapids and Iowa City then only allowed fireworks stands and tents in certain areas. So what we're left with area a confusing set of laws that many people disregard anyway. So in an effort to educate the fireworks hungry portion of the audience, here are the laws for residents in Linn and Johnson counties.
According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, fireworks are NOT to be used in the cities of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. You can be fined, up to $855 in Cedar Rapids and $520 in Iowa City. In the city of Marion, fireworks CAN be set off on July 4th between the hours of noon and 11 p.m. Hiawatha will also allow the use of fireworks on the 4th from noon to 11 p.m. In unincorporated areas of Linn County fireworks CAN be set off on July 4th between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.
You can NOT set off fireworks in unincorporated areas of Johnson County unless you have a permit. In Coralville, North Liberty, and Tiffin, you may NOT set off fireworks. In Solon, you CAN set them off from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 1st through 3rd, and from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the 4th of July.
Now lets run down some fireworks etiquette. If you are going to be letting some off in your neighborhood, let your neighbors know. Be courteous. A simple call or heads up is always greatly appreciated. Another rule of thumb is not setting off anymore fireworks 2 hours after dusk. Also make sure you clean up after yourselves. Don't leave bottle rockets and shrapnel in the street or your neighbors yard.
And finally, take into consideration that according to Servicecu.org, over 24 million Americans suffer from PTSD, many from their time serving in our nation's military. One of the could be your neighbor. Check in with them before setting any fireworks off. The same goes for pets. Remember their tiny little ears this 4th of July too.