Some old traditions die hard. Personal use of “safe and sane” fireworks in Tumwater is one of those traditions under scrutiny in the Nov. 8 election.
The “advisory fireworks ban” on the ballot would effectively bar the sale and discharge of fireworks in the city limits, because the Tumwater City Council has agreed to enact whatever the voters decide.
A ban would bring the city in line with Olympia, Lacey and larger communities that have banned personal fireworks displays on grounds of safety, peace and calm, and fire risks. There hasn’t been a hue, cry or loss of patriotism in those communities as a result.
Thurston County commissioners also have adopted a rule allowing them to declare an emergency fireworks ban when fire risks are extreme.
Our view is that it makes sense to leave the fireworks to professionals who can deploy the big, flashy displays that burst all that wondrous light into the night sky.
But Tumwater, which became a town before Olympia did, appears more rooted in the mid-summer fireworks tradition than most communities. It has a Fourth of July parade each year, a public fireworks display in the evening, and many residents enjoy using sparklers and other state-legal fireworks in the comfort of their front or backyards.
Should Tumwater be different? This is really the decision for Tumwater voters who know better than anyone when their community has grown too crowded to tolerate home fireworks displays.
We’ll respect their decision.