Simply over two weeks after one other Fourth of July marked by disturbances involving fireworks, Minneapolis celebrated the Aquatennial with a fireworks present on the Stone Arch Bridge.
In accordance with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB), the Stone Arch Bridge was closed from 10 a.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Sunday. Minneapolis Downtown Council, the group answerable for the Aquatennial, mentioned the bridge will likely be closed for the present’s fireworks footprint.
The Aquatennial started utilizing the bridge as a launch level in 2021, in keeping with the Minneapolis Downtown Council. KSTP reported the pyrotechnic setup for what has been marketed as a top-five fireworks show within the nation takes at the very least 4 days to arrange.
The bridge closed earlier this month over the Fourth of July weekend, a closure MPRB mentioned was a security measure.
“Final 12 months, massive Fourth of July gatherings in riverfront parks and neighborhoods created unsafe, chaotic conditions,” MPRB mentioned in a public announcement main as much as this 12 months’s celebrations. “This proactive measure will assist park employees and public security companies higher handle crowds and security throughout a really busy time for riverfront parks and neighborhoods.”
Fourth of July 2022 noticed police responding to greater than 1,000 calls and a taking pictures at Increase Island Park that injured seven folks.
The bridge was initially set to shut at 8 p.m., prompting backlash from the group. Nonetheless, quickly after MPRB’s preliminary announcement, the board launched one other announcement responding to group requests, saying the closure time could be moved to 10 p.m.
This 12 months’s Fourth of July
July 4, 2023 as soon as once more noticed police responding to fireworks disturbances throughout the town, resulting in the arrests of 16 folks, virtually all of whom have been minors.
Minneapolis Police Division (MPD) Chief Brian O’Hara spoke the day after the vacation, condemning the actions of these taking pictures fireworks at folks and vehicles.
“The concentrating on of harmless folks with fireworks is illegal, harmful and wholly unacceptable,” O’Hara mentioned. “As we noticed final night time, this conduct shouldn’t be solely a hazard to the targets of this illegal conduct, but it surely’s additionally a hazard to those that selected to have interaction on this conduct themselves.”
Minneapolis 911 dispatch obtained almost 1,200 calls in seven hours after 9 p.m. the night time of July 4, in keeping with an e mail assertion to the Minnesota Every day from MPD spokesperson Garrett Parten, a quantity he mentioned is akin to what 911 dispatch usually receives in a 24-hour interval.
Increase Island Park, Lake Bde Maka Ska, St. Anthony Fundamental, Minnehaha Regional Park and the 3700 block of Cedar have been areas the place police responded to firework disturbances, in keeping with Parten.
In accordance with a 2021 launch from the U.S. Client Product Security Fee (CPSC), municipalities canceling July 4 fireworks shows in the course of the pandemic might have pushed extra folks to make use of fireworks on their very own. The CPSC report discovered a 50% enhance in fireworks-related deaths and accidents in 2020 when in comparison with the earlier 12 months.
Two years later, CPSC information exhibits fireworks-related accidents are at a quantity just like 2019.
Minnesota permits solely sparklers and small novelty fireworks to be bought and used –– something aerial or explosive is illegitimate, in keeping with the Minnesota Division of Public Security.
CPSC spokesperson Karla Crosswhite-Chigbue warned in opposition to unlawful fireworks in an e mail assertion to the Minnesota Every day.
“Our recommendation is don’t use them and don’t purchase them,” Crosswhite-Chigbue mentioned.