The Campbell County Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to lift a ban on fireworks for one week at the end of December so residents may celebrate the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022.
Fireworks have been outlawed in Campbell County for all of 2021 due to dangerous drought conditions, but with a 5-0 vote, the commissioners approved a resolution allowing for the sale and use of fireworks beginning at 12:01 a.m. December 26 until 12:01 a.m. on January 2.
The traditional sale and use of summer fireworks were banned this year because of the extreme dry conditions. In addition, this year’s Campbell County Parks & Recreation (CCPR) 4th of July firework display was also cancelled after a mutual agreement between CCPR and the Campbell County Fire Department.
Speaking to commissioners in support of allowing fireworks for individual New Year’s celebration were local merchandisers Randy Sinclair of Six Flags Fireworks and Paul Reynolds of Discount Fireworks. They shared with commissioners the need to unload inventory because of the elimination of summer sales.
The dealers did disagree somewhat on the time frame. Reynolds asked commissioners to expand the time to allow vendors additional time to clear out inventory that’s been at a stalemate this year. He asked to lift the ban beginning December 23.
“Our whole point was that with all the shortages and everything, we want to be able to offer some retail product to maybe capture some of the financial losses we suffered this summer,” Reynolds said.
Sinclair agreed that merchandise needs to be sold but not at the expense of families enjoying Christmas.
“I think this county is a pretty Christian County and we don’t need a bunch of noise or commotion over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,” Sinclair said.
Commissioner D.G. Reardon said the county has traditionally allowed residents to celebrate with fireworks in the past at year’s end, but he agreed that the use on Christmas would be a distraction from the holiday.
Commissioner Del Shelstad recognized the need for the dealers to unload their warehoused merchandise, but he said allowing the sale before Christmas would just lead to fireworks being ignited a week before New Year’s.
The city is expected to decide in coming weeks whether it will allow the use of fireworks on Dec. 31, 2021. As for the county, the sale and use will be allowed while the ban is lifted under the following terms and conditions – no fireworks shall be ignited within 100 feet of a residence; fireworks will be used in a way that does not cause a fire; possession, sale or use of fireworks commonly referred as “pop bottle rockets” are prohibited; and all vendors must register with the Campbell County Fire Department.