Alexandria, La. (June 30, 2021) — The City of Alexandria will not host a fireworks display on July 4 this year after members of the Alexandria City Council voted the measure down Tuesday night.
The request failed 4-3 with council members Reddex Washington, Gerber Porter, Cynthia Perry and Catherine Davidson voting against the fireworks display slated for Sunday, July 4 in downtown Alexandria. Voting for the fireworks display were Council President Jim Villard, Chuck Fowler and Lee Rubin.
“We are disappointed with the vote, but we encourage residents to celebrate our nation with our neighboring cities and at home this year,” said Mayor Jeff Hall who had requested the measure. The City of Pineville will host its annual Fireworks Over Buhlow on July 3. At Large Councilman Rubin expressed his displeasure after the meeting, saying, “It’s pretty pathetic this council can’t approve a little fireworks show.”
For those who choose to celebrate at home, Alexandria Fire Department is encouraging safety. “If you live in an area where you can utilize fireworks be safe,” said Tom Force, fire prevention chief for the Alexandria Fire Department, noting fireworks are illegal in the Alexandria city limits. “Keep a bucket of water or sand, something you can put your discharged sparklers and things like that in when you’re done to make sure they properly cool off before you throw them away. In past years, people have thrown them in the trash not realizing they are still warm enough to start a fire.”
Force noted thousands of fireworks-related accidents are reported every year, with many being the result of carelessness or unsupervised children and teens. “A lot of it is common sense. Don’t shoot at each other or at houses or vehicles. Always point them in a safe direction and be mindful of wind,” he said.
Even sparklers can pose significant dangers. “A sparkler burns at nearly 2,000 degrees,” Force said. “You can get burned easily. For comparison, an average oven is 350-400 degrees, so we’re talking many times hotter than that.”