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Fireworks regulations vary throughout Thurston County

As Independence Day draws near, Thurston County residents rediscover the regulations for the purchase and discharge of fireworks. Lacey and Olympia continue a total ban against the sale and discharge of fireworks, while Tumwater and Thurston County allow limited Fourth of July celebrations.

The total ban was enforced in 2007 in Lacey and in 2013 in Olympia. The Olympia ban was largely due to complaints from residents about noise, and disturbance for pets, according to city spokeswoman Cathie Butler.

Private citizens in both Lacey and Olympia are allowed to light novelty devices such as snakes, glowworms and party poppers, but sparklers and all other types of fireworks are not permitted, according to a joint news release from the two cities. While both communities have a ban on private fireworks, they have each organized public displays.

"Buying fireworks at reservation stands and bringing them in is not allowed," Butler said.

Tumwater and Thurston County maintain fewer firework regulations. According to Tumwater regulations, fireworks are allowed on July 3 and 4 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tumwater residents are permitted to sell fireworks from July 1 to the 4th from 9 a.m. to 11.p.m. with the proper vendor permits.

“Fireworks have been a topic of discussion; we are concerned about people’s safety, but as long as people are using safe and sane fireworks they are probably O.K.” said Tumwater assistant fire chief Jim McGarva.

Tumwater added one new fireworks regulation: after people lit off private fireworks during the public fireworks display at the Artesian Festival last year, Tumwater decided to ban discharge in city parks, McGarva said.

Thurston County allows the sale of fireworks form June 28 to July 4, and discharge of fireworks from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m on July 3 and 4.

Public displays include the Capital Lakefair Grand Finale in Olympia, The Fireworks Spectacular in Lacey, and the Artesian Festival in Tumwater.

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