Illegal Fireworks

Good morning, and I hope each of you is gearing up for a great Fourth of July weekend with family and friends.  We hope to see you all at the Broad Street Blast tomorrow night at Smith Park for music and fireworks.

As most in the City are aware, the city shut down illegal fireworks last year in Barnitz Park at the Unity Gathering.  It was not our most graceful moment.  I’ve said it in public before and I’ll say it again here.  When the City does not provide services that people want, good meaning people try to step up to fill the gap.  Pernell Huff and his group do a fantastic job putting the Unity Gathering together and their only flaw last year was trying to provide fireworks for the South end when the City had nothing to offer.  A heartfelt, good intention with unfortunately an illegal solution.

The complaint from the Unity organizers was that the City was selective in our enforcement of the fireworks laws.  The City Division of Police cannot witness illegal activity and not take some action to curb the behavior.  I’ve made it clear to the Division of Police that if they witness illegal fireworks displays “anywhere”  in the City over the Fourth of July weekend, they are to warn the individuals to shut them down immediately.  That goes for all parts of town, all groups…everyone in Middletown. The only permit that has been obtained for legally shooting fireworks has been for the Broad Street Blast Friday night.  If warning does not stop the activity, the Middletown Division of Police are instructed to cite the individuals into court and to confiscate visible fireworks.

Please join us Friday night for the City fireworks and leave the illegal ones in your house.  This holiday weekend is supposed to be a fun celebration of our country’s democracy and independence.  The City does not want to have to summon people to court who won’t comply with the law.

Please respect the law and let our officers do their job helping the public and serving this community with distinction and honor.

Have a great weekend!

3 thoughts on “Illegal Fireworks

  1. Me and my brother have been doing fireworks for the past 10 years down by the river. This is a load of bullshit.. When black folk want to do Something positive for the community it’s illegal. NO black person I know attends that bullshit broad street bash. Its for white people not us.


    • I appreciate your comments. I’m not sure how fireworks is a race related issue but I accept your comment that some in the African American community may not wish to attend the City fireworks. You are going to find as time goes on that this local government values all members of the community and I am working very hard to break down those barriers over time.

      We haven’t had city sponsored fireworks in over 10 years and I’ve never done them as a City Manager. If there is a smarter, better way to put the evening together, I would genuinely like to hear from the community what they liked and what we could do better next year.

      At some point, we need to become a community, not groups of people separated by race or income levels. All viewpoints are welcome in this city as long as I am City Manager.

      I will also accept constructive criticism. If you really want to see change, however, you have a responsibility to not only complain about deficiencies, but also to offer real solutions that would make things better.

      On the Blast tonight, if you would like to see a different mix of music or food vendors, or whatever would make the evening more appealing to the entire community, let me know and we’ll look at how we can be better next year.

      Things will improve only when we work together and each of us takes personal responsibility to make daily life in this city better. My door is always open and you can email me anytime at

      Don’t be a stranger.


  2. I am trying to understand Jamellas comment on the broad street bash. Has anyone ever kept a black person from going? Or denied anyone entry? I thought anyone was free to go, so not sure how it’s just for white people. I have seen many black, Hispanic, and white people there every time I have gone to it, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves very much. You should give it a try. It really is a good time.


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