“I love this city and our country, but people here are crazy with the fireworks man.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user LaTur

“Dear PoPville,

Fireworks from 8pm to 12:30am

Last year one of my dogs became stressed out from the fireworks and ran away. She was returned after a neighbor received one of 900 postcards I mailed out.

Saturday night I was frustrated and felt trapped in my own rowhouse from all the craziness. Fireworks were constant in my neighborhood for over 4 hours. Is there a solution for Metro PD? There has to be something man. One of my dogs has PTSD from all the noise. I love this city and our country, but people here are crazy with the fireworks man. Saturday night was not safe on my street..

I am open to your suggestions.”

151 Comment

  • Leave town. Take your dogs with you. This is not going to change.

    • Anonomnom

      Sadly was going to say the same thing. Part of the life of being in the country’s capital city on July 4th is fireworks and excessive patriotism. Its the capital. This will never change, nor would the majority of the people here want it too. If it honestly upsets you and your dog that much, the only possible solution you have is to start a July 4th tradition of being out of town that weekend. Not trying to be rude, its just the honest truth.

      • Totally right. You have to go somewhere really rural to avoid all fireworks. DC is pretty extreme, but the year we went to Duck, NC (with our dog) where fireworks are illegal (with signs EVERYWHERE), it still didn’t matter. Bang zoom all night.

      • Not so sure a majority of people like tons of home grown fireworks into the wee hours of the night. A minority of people shooting them off, while loud, does not indicate a majority of the citizenry love having shaking dogs or disrupted sleep.
        That said, my advice is to leave town. That, or insulate your dog in a room with few windows and white noise machines (Marpac Dohm, air purifier, dehumidifier, etc). Or you could move to the inner Capitol Hill, too (as in, just a few blocks from the Capitol). We don’t seem to have the problems other parts of DC have when it comes to these ridiculous, extended home productions, thankfully!!

        • Aglets

          Um. what part of capitol hill do you live on because i had some tremendous booms for the last two nghts

        • I’m only 2 blocks from the Capitol- still within the Capitol Police zone, so that might explain it! It was relatively sedate even on the 4th, but I could hear a few things in the distance last night.

      • It’s about 25% excessive patriotism, 75% people being fuckin assholes because this is the one day they’re almost certain to get away with it. As far as the “illegal” big stuff, back in the day people went to Pennsylvania to get the projectile stuff. Not sure if that’s still the case.

        • I’d say it’s 10 percent patriotism. Also, you used to be able to buy fireworks on Georgia Ave. That’s where we got ours in the 90s.

          We still had the loud booms till 4 a.m. on July 5. Totally sucked. Not sure why the po-po can’t just confiscate said fireworks. I saw MPD all up and down 14th St. driving past people using fireworks. Just take em.

    • +1. Being in DC for the 4th of July is fun once or twice. Now that we’re parents, we pack up the baby and dog and head far, far away. This year we went to Douthat State Park in SW Virginia. A nearby small town had a fireworks show. There were very few tourists. It was quiet and awesome!

    • Yeah, we did this, but it assumes the festivities end on the 4th. We went to WV, but at some point you have to come back for the weekend. We came back to fireworks (commercial grade artillery shit) going off every 2-3 minutes at 11pm on Sunday night. It’s pretty inconsiderate to be doing that after the 4th, on a school night, that late. Have some respect for your neighbors, kids. It’s a challenge enough trying to get an infant to fall asleep; it’s another thing to do it with a shocking explosion every few minutes.

      I’ll add that these fireworks on the 5th were being launched from the middle of the street, literally right in front of a spotlight police van.

    • This is one of the most fun things about DC. I’ve been here 14 years, and there’s nothing like Lincoln Park on the 4th. I think it was August last year when I heard the last firework of the season. Definitely leave DC, take your dog. Those of us having a good time will not miss you. #ByeScalia.

  • If it makes you feel any better, it’s not just here. I was in Baltimore County this weekend and it was the same thing. There were three dogs in the house going absolutely insane and then one dog took off at the end of the night (she came back, thankfully). People just don’t get it or just don’t care. Honestly, I think there is little that can be done. There is so much else going on in the city (and other areas) that fireworks really aren’t a priority until someone gets hurt. This is honestly how it has always been in this area, regardless of jurisdiction (MD, VA, DC). The cops just come round and tell you to stop, will maybe take the fireworks, but that’s about it.

    • That’s not even remotely true. The MPD actively tickets people setting off illegal fireworks and will seek out people setting off large displays to ticket them, but the issue is manpower – they don’t have enough officers to simultaneously police the mall, keep peace in the neighborhood parks where people are congregating, deal with people being stupid and drunk, AND write tickets.

      One solution that was suggested this year was granting ticket-writing powers to Park Rangers and other federal officials that may be on patrol in public areas in order to cut down on it, but the idea came up too late – they hope to implement it next year.

      • Really? I saw an MPD vehicle drive right past (had to move into the bike lane to avoid running over the fireworks) on Upshur St.

        I personally am OK with the full size fireworks being set off, but why they need to keep going till 1am is beyond me.

      • Cops have to actually get out of their cars/vans once in a while. The local post-4th display near my house was shooting off no less than 10 yards from the hood of the police van that tows around the spotlights. What’s the point of calling something in when you KNOW a cop is present and it happens anyway?

      • Where is this ticket-writing taking place? I passed two groups of police officers standing watching kids setting off illegal fireworks. Heavy duty stuff. The officers smiling, approving, having a good time.

          • Actually, the police did shut down the fireworks in Lincoln Park this year. I was there, sitting right in front of one of the (DC) cop cars that had rolled into opposite sides of the park. The cars were there for something like 15 minutes, but didn’t take any action until one of the larger, multi-shot projectiles tipped over, firing a couple big rounds into the crowd, which sent people scurrying. The cops immediately turned on their lights and rolled into the crowd, announcing, “The park is closed.”

        • would be curious to hear from MPD how many tix they wrote in the 4th District this year

        • In other words, the cops have bigger fish to fry?
          My guess is that the cops (who are from DC) see this as fond tradition and really don’t give much of a whit about peoples’ dogs with “canine PTSD.”
          Also, how are people’s dogs “getting out and escaping”? Keep your dog inside during the July 4th weekend and keep it on-leash when outside. This is common sense, folks.
          Also, I have seen cops confiscate plenty of fireworks over the years. A few years ago, I watched some guys take 30 minutes to set up their big “finale” in Bloomingdale. There must have been 200 neighbors in the street watching in anticipation. The cops swooped in right before they were about to light the fuse and took EVERYTHING. There must have been $500 worth of mortars in that haul.

          • justinbc

            Of course they have bigger fish to fry. If they were out ticketing / arresting people for shooting off fireworks on half the streets in the District someone else would be sending in a letter to PoPville asking “why are the cops wasting time on fireworks when so and so xyz crime is happening?”.

      • Yeah, ok. The tickets must be SO effective and that’s why people end up writing posts like this, right? As I said – there is so much else going on in the city that it’s not a priority – so I agree with you on the manpower issue.
        PS, I don’t know where you grew up, but I have lived in and around DC for over 30 years and feel well-qualified to say that this is how it’s always been and this is how it always will be.

  • maybe you can petition to prohibit the pop-up stands from selling the ‘works in future years. if kids can’t buy them, it’ll drastically cut down on the noise. not sure what you’d have to do to get this to happen though.

    • The stuff that is being sold in the stands is not the same as the professional quality firerworks being shot off in the alleys in Columbia Heights and petworth. DC actually prohibits those kinds of projectile fire works. I have no idea where people buy the big stuff. It was amusing the first two hours after the Mall fireworks wrapped up but again last night was too much. I don’t have a pet but I do have a toddler who is terrified of the fireworks now.

      • Accountering

        Pennsylvania. For reference, my group had about 80 of them that went hundreds of feet in the air. Total cost was only $200. We shot them off in rural Virginia at a cabin, but yeah. Anything is fair game in PA.

        • Given your oft-repeated opinion of the state, I’m surprised you were willing to sully your hands with a product purchased there. 🙂

        • We have dogs, and we went to rural Virginia to get away from the Columbia Heights show. It was just the same out there, a bunch of fools shooting them off from 7pm – 11pm. It just echos much further in rural Virginia. Next year, we’ll take the dogs to Canada.

        • Having grown up in Penn (in a small city), I never encountered the sheer volume of personal fireworks seen in DC. Could be different in Philly, but aside from sparklers and the vary rare m80 or scrib, we had pretty subdued 4ths. My current neighborhood in DC though sounds like Fallujah during the 4th. I have to agree with other posters that this isn’t going to change anytime soon, and your best bet is to vacation out of town (or even the burbs) for the evening.

  • Amen – I wish there was something that could be done. But I also wish people were more aware of how so many dogs are absolutely TERRIFIED of fireworks. Apparently, part of the reason is the pitch of the noise they make…

    I live on 16th St – smack in between MtP and Columbia Heights and single fireworks were being shot last night every 10 minutes or so from about 9:45 until almost 11….my dog shook almost non-stop. He’s more than 50 pounds and was scared enough to crawl on my lap. And all you can do is wait it out.

    We made it a point to be out of the city on Saturday – I can only imagine how bad it must have been that night.

  • The fireworks are loud but what can you honestly expect in a city where there are fireworks stands everywhere weeks leading up to the holiday weekend? I would suggest leaving town for the holiday if it’s that bad.

    I’m sure you saw the number of stabbings and shootings that occurred on Saturday, so why would you expect the police to try and stop fireworks being set off that were acquired legally just because your dog has “PTSD.” City living isn’t for everyone.

  • They were setting them off in my neighborhood until at least 3am when it calmed down enough I could actually sleep. Then most of the day on Sunday I kept hearing them. It was fun for a bit, and I was generally impressed by how nice some of the fireworks were for just some neighborhood displays, but after a while, it became increasingly annoying.

    Also, I watched as a group of kids spent about an hour shooting things at a local high school. I kept waiting for the entire thing to go up in flames.

    • I usually worry about fires from these displays, too, since they are shot off in such dense neighborhoods, but figured it was too wet this year for it to be much of an issue.

  • Best advice is to get away for the weekend, get a pet friendly cabin or hotel. We do it almost every year.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Find a La Quinta in a quiet burb. They even host Tia Torres and her pit bulls. 🙂

    • It’s counterintuitive but in my experience, airport hotels often have the best soundproofing. Plus, they’ll probably be empty during holiday weekends.

  • justinbc

    They were going off well past midnight in Capitol Hill (near Lincoln Park). I thought at one moment “that’s a bit inconsiderate”, but then I also thought about all the sacrifices and battles people made to found this country and people celebrating that well into the night really isn’t such a bad thing in my mind. With all of the country’s flaws, it’s one of the few things we can almost all universally enjoy whether rich or poor, white, black, or other, heterosexual or homosexual, etc, etc. Yes, there are of course some people and animals for which this celebration can be problematic, but you know this every single year. Just like a vegetarian shouldn’t go to Fogo de Chao expecting a great meal, someone whose dog has fireworks induced “PTSD” should do what they can to get outside the nation’s capital on the anniversary of its independence.

    • Ha ha. But honestly. We set off a lot of fireworks as kids. And it wasn’t because we were particularly patriotic. It was because we liked to see things explode, and it was somewhat “allowed” during this time of year.

    • I highly doubt setting off a bunch of fireworks in parking lots and school playgrounds is about remembering the sacrifices it took to build our country but for a minority of our most patriotic, Lee Greenwood-chanting local demolitions experts. I would wager it’s typically a lot more about getting drunk and liking when things go boom.

      • justinbc

        Sure, but the occasion gives you a -reason- to do it cooperatively with everyone else, whether you recognize it or not. And I wasn’t asserting that most or many people even feel that way, just that I had a bit of introspection as I was on the cusp about being grumpy-old-man like about it.

      • On a related note, the Darwin Award this year goes to the Maine resident who died after he put a fireworks mortar tube on his head and lit it. Seriously.
        I admit it, I like it when things go boom. And I have been known, on occasion, to imbibe on Independence Day. For that reason, I never, ever purchase fireworks. Ever. I’m not terribly self-aware, but my cluelessness has limits.

    • Exactly, they were going off all night last night too far as i could hear
      at the end of the day imo it isnt THAT serious.
      no, i wouldn’t prefer to hear booms into the night but its the 4th, get over it

  • Agree with most posters here. Find a small, safe area in your home and try to make it as sound-proof as possible. Also – benedryl is a huge help, give it to your pup an hour before dark hits. It at least help to dull the senses for a few hours while the madness is going on outside. It’s either that or get the heck out of dodge!

  • One thing that may help is to board them for the weekend so that they’re not along and constantly have care.

    Otherwise, I’d strongly consider a crate and some benadryl so they can sleep through as much of the night as possible. I’m lucky to have a dog who isnt terrified, but I am stressed nonetheless

  • I dunno how it is someone else’s fault your dog ran away. take some responsibility, and take some medication.

  • Won’t someone think of the dogs?

  • While I *generally* agree with the crowd saying that this is a good weekend to get away if you and/or your pets are super sensitive to the sound, I think it’s worth noting that the fireworks this year were on a whole other level (in my neighborhood anyway). I have no real issue with people setting off fireworks, but trying to get home on Saturday from the closest metro stop, there were three separate stretches of sidewalk blocked off by huge firework displays that we just couldn’t really pass. And they didn’t stop booming (not popping — really booming) until after well after midnight both Saturday and last night. I don’t think it’s overly sensitive or pearl clutchy to find this kind of annoying.

    • Maybe my neighbors all migrated to Shaw! I was thinking on Saturday night that maybe the rain had kept things a bit quieter. There were still a lot of people setting them off in our area of Petworth but nowhere near what we saw the past few years.

    • justinbc

      They definitely seemed louder in Capitol Hill this year vs other years. We walked back from The Mall and pretty much every street in the neighborhood was smoke filled. I think the only real egregious act I witnessed was people who were throwing them into the street in Chinatown, at oncoming traffic. Not entirely surprising given the crowd of kids who usually hangs out around Chinatown though. My only real complaint about the neighborhood excess was the amount of people who did not clean up after themselves the next day.

      • We live EoTR and the neighborhood show was epic! As a new home owner I was slightly petrified that one of the fireworks would catch our house on fire – but at the end of the weekend – my only complaint is that all of the firework debris has remained in the street. Our first 4th with our puppy – we weren’t entirely sure how he’d react – so we put him in his crate with his favorite stuffy and he was fine. Thankfully!

  • I live in Brentwood and kids have been setting off explosives for a couple of weeks, which has thankfully desensitized my dog. When I biked home from the mall my neighbors had basically shut down the street and were launching projectile types up and down the street. I just consider it part of city life and I know MPD isn’t going to do anything (I passed a couple of cars chilling out in parking lots on my way home). That said, I’m sure your vet can write your dog an rx for some valium (or recommend a dose of benadryl). A friend of mine’s dog has severe problems with thunder storms, and she swears by the combination of valium, a thundershirt, and ear muffs: http://www.sportys.com/pilotshop/mutt-muffs-dog-hearing-protection.html (no affiliation, just the first link that popped up)

  • Aside from dogs’ well being, all the random fireworks are disturbing to the human inhabitants of the city, too. People who have to work the next morning, small children, and veterans who have PTSD. Celebrating military victories with, essentially, artillery fire is pretty insulting, if you ask me. Garfield Park is covered in firework garbage (and food garbage, but that’s a different complaint) from idiots setting off the stupid things until all hours on Saturday and Sunday.

    Blowing things up is not a right, people. It’s juvenile, wasteful, and annoying.

    • God, is it ok to enjoy anything anymore? People who have to work the next morning–really? It’s not like fireworks on the Fourth of July are anything new–people have survived just fine to this point. Can we just stop complaining for one day, maybe?

      • Wow, I hope you’re not my neighbor. Part of living in a city is acknowledging that your “fun” could actually bother/actively harm other people. Also, most of the complaints are about all the fireworks set off Sunday night, not on the 4th.

        • +1. I especially like this: “Part of living in a city is acknowledging that your “fun” could actually bother/actively harm other people.”

        • “Part of living in a city is acknowledging that your “fun” could actually bother/actively harm other people.”
          Pretty sure that’s why why we have HOA’s.
          City living is all about enjoying the shared experience with your fellow citizen’s. No one does July 4th like DC….it’s one of the things I love about the city.

        • Agreed with nevermindtheend. Fireworks on the Fourth of July are one thing. Fireworks on the days before/after are a bit much.

      • People do work on Sundays you know. Lots of people.

        • Exactly – no fireworks ever! It was so obnoxious when I was trying to telecommute with the Hong Kong office on July 4th!

      • Tsar of Truxton

        I am sure you would love it if I let my dog sit outside your window all night and bark. I can assure you she would be having a blast and people have survived dogs barking for longer than they have survived fireworks…

        Seriously though, I think it is reasonable for people to use fireworks until 10 or 11, but beyond that is simply being discourteous. Yes, sometimes people in cities also like peace, quiet, and sleep, and I think that is equally as reasonable. I am lucky enough to have a dog who doesn’t seem bothered by fireworks (which is bizarre because she is scared of everything else…literally) and I can sleep through them, but just because we are in a city or because this is a “free country,” doesn’t mean that people should completely ignore the common courtesies expected in a civilized society. Also, if you are going to shoot them, pick up the trash…

      • This is the first year in many I haven’t had to work at 7am or watch fireworks from a window in my hospital during night shift, and it’s only because I’m on maternity leave. Lots of people (healthcare personnel, law enforcement, firefighters…) work holidays and deal with idiots who don’t know how to act. I’m glad I was spared the patients with blast injuries this year.

    • I don’t understand all the pro-fireworks whining. Doing something that is dangerous and illegal (not to mention a public nuisance) is–get this–dangerous and illegal. Dangerous as in potentially causing very serious injury and illegal as in it is prohibited by law. “But we’ve always done it, you just hate fun, move to the suburbs” are not reasonable excuses to do something that is–I repeat, in case some folks missed it–dangerous and illegal.

      Maybe when your kid blows his hand off with a bottle rocket or some whizzbang sets your roof ablaze, you’ll change your mind about fireworks.

  • The thing I don’t understand is they were going off ALL WEEKEND. 11am Saturday? Fireworks! 8am Sunday? Fireworks! Ugh, you’re not seeing much when you set them off in broad daylight. Also I remember fireworks being expensive as a kid. By Sunday morning I thought people would run out, but NOPE they had enough for Sunday night too!

    • The people setting them off in daylight really don’t care about the display. They’re just enjoying blowing stuff up and not getting in trouble for it.

    • Not being snarky, but this must be your first July 4 in DC. Independence Day is a week-long event in Columbia Heights.

      • It is my first one in the Columbia Heights area. Lived in Navy Yard before and honestly don’t even recall hearing any fireworks.

        • I am a park view resident for 5 years now and I definitely think the local show was more turned up than usual this year. Cops may ticket in Lincoln Park on the Hill but they don’t give a shit where we live. Yesterday at 7pm, kids were setting off fireworks from the basketball court at the rec center while rec center employees stood there watching. Its entertaining the first night for sure, but enough already. Hopefully they have run through everything they can explode at this point.

        • The local show really depends a lot what neighborhood you’re in. For instance, Georgetown and Kalorama are going to be significantly quieter than neighborhoods like Columbia Heights.

      • I’m wondering if some of these people have ever experienced 4th of July in ANY city. I’ve lived in the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, California, and now DC. The only place where fireworks were held to a minimum was the PNW due to the potential of forest fires. Everywhere else was nonstop blasts for the two weeks leading into the 4th. Personally, I dont even think DC is all that bad.

        • “I’m wondering if some of these people have ever experienced 4th of July in ANY city.”
          Honest answer? I’d venture to say they are from the suburbs. Bored suburban cops will be on your butt if you shoot any projectile fireworks or are blasting off legal fireworks after 11pm. Enforcement is the difference here – DC cops have more important things to worry about.

          • I agree that it’s a suburban/urban issue – I grew up in Arlington and this year was my first in Columbia Heights. I had no clue it was this different across the river – it’s only six miles or so but it’s a totally different world.

        • SouthwestDC

          I’m currently working in a sleepy Midwestern town (for reference the closest Starbucks is an hour away) and couldn’t sleep last night because of all the fireworks. This happens EVERYWHERE.

  • I thought all the fireworks (legal and illegal) we beautiful and I loved watching them. I don’t have a dog though.
    Regardless I’d much rather MPD try and crack down on all the violent crimes recently (shootings, stabbings etc.) rather than illegal fireworks displays because they might be scaring people’s dogs.

    • Yes. And after they get a handle on the big stuff, they can tackle the repetitive quality of life issues, rather than worry about those that occur once a year. After someone (anyone!) starts enforcing parking regulations each and every Sunday, I’ll start worrying about fireworks enforcement.

    • +1000!

  • The endless fireworks are completely obnoxious, but MPD is totally apathetic about enforcing nuisance violations in the summer, so I can’t really think of a good remedy. At least everyone should run out by the middle of this week. I’d recommend a thundershirt for the pup.

    • justinbc

      I had never heard of that but I’ll definitely be getting some as gifts for all my dog owning friends. Thanks for the tip.

      • anonymouse_dianne

        Invented by Temple Grandin to soothe her autism. Bad Rap recommends a cloth collar with your phone number written in Sharpie in case they do run away. Very common 😉

  • My dog hates the fireworks too. Have you tried a Thundershirt? It helps my pup a lot. There are also instructions online for how to recreate the same feeling for the dog with an Ace bandage if you don’t want to shell out the cash for something you will only use a couple of times a year. It doesn’t resolve everything 100%, but it keeps him a little bit calmer during fireworks (and the endless thunderstorms we have been having lately).

  • Dogs were domesticated by people.
    Cities were built for people.
    Fireworks were launched by people.
    People were domesticated by dogs.

  • Let me get out my small violin….

    Yes, lets change something that makes this city and different for the dogs. Should we get rid of all the mailmen, fire trucks horns, and vacuum cleaners because dogs dont like it?

    You went from regular dog owner, to dogs are greater than humans crazy with the “PTSD” reference.

    I’m sorry its a dog, and in a few days they will have forgot the whole thing happen. Can’t even believe Pop entertained this question.

    • Dogs are the new babies. And won’t you think of the children?!?

    • Dogs are not the only ones that react to fireworks/loud noises. The fireworks (different than mail trucks and vacuum cleaners) are also stressful for people too – are you discounting them as well in your “get over it” response?

    • If you want to share your home with a companion animal you are going to have to make accommodations for that animal. It is a living, emotional individual with hearing several dozen factors greater than your own and, yes, they do remember the bombs bursting in air.

      The OP is aware of this and is making an appeal to common decency (or maybe to suggestions for an Independence Day retreat). He is not claiming that “dogs are better than people”. Perpetual explosions are not necessary for any human’s well-being. If anything, they’re plain obnoxious.

  • Drove back from a party to pick my dog up and had fireworks shot at my car on a couple different occasions. Little kids in the middle of the street lighting fireworks and not even moving for cars with parents watching (or not really watching) from the curb.

  • We always get out of dodge and rent a cabin in the woods. Mostly because it annoys the humans, not as much because it stresses the dog (the kids next door stress the dog on a daily basis, so we’ve kind of given up and accepted her as high strung!).

    Our trainer gave us the advice to download a fireworks track to itunes (there are tons of them) and start playing it really quietly a few weeks before the fourth, giving treats. Then up the noise each day, with treats. By the fourth, they may be ok with it. This may only work with puppies. Ours was fine the first year but how do we really plan for the three or four weeks of random fireworks?

  • It’s the one day a year I’m happy to have old, inefficient, loud appliances. I drug the dogs with acepromazine from the vet (any vet can give it to you, but start with just a quarter dose and wait 40 minutes – a little of the stuff goes a LONG way!) and then I just start running everything. Laundry in the washer and the dryer with the door to that closet wide open. Dishwasher going – it’s a great time to clean your dishwasher using white vinegar and baking soda, so you have a reason to run it more than once even if it’s empty. Bathroom vent fan on. Kitchen hood on. Both televisions on (and pick a channel that *isn’t* showing fireworks!). Liberal use of the vacuum and the dustbuster. Most importantly, I stay home, so they know the pack is together, and the last walk of the day is around 8:15pm. Then I just set the alarm really early to do the next walk around dawn – they should all have stopped by then.
    It sucks that people just go crazy with the fireworks that night, but on the upside, my house is never cleaner than it is on 4th of July weekend!

    • That’s pretty genius, actually.

      • Well thanks 🙂 I have had many dogs for many years to get this routine down pat. They really don’t seem to even notice the fireworks anymore. *And*, I get a super-clean house with piles of clean, folded laundry and every single glass or metal thing I own clean from a trip through the dishwasher from starting at 8:00pm and going till 3:00am (I live near a couple bars so I keep it loud till they close). I just have to remember *not* to open the windows while I clean to get that fresh air smell!

      • +1. Shaw, that is brilliant!

    • This is hilarious 🙂

  • Yeah, if you don’t like fireworks during the 4th of July. You should go out of town. The cops can’t do anything and the majority of people don’t care. Its once a year. Its tradition.

  • I noticed that on H Street there were a lot of fireworks last night but they were pretty much timed with the United States win over Japan.

  • midnight? you are lucky…our neighborhood kept “celebrating” until 3.30a.m.

    • We were awoken by a MASSIVE mortar at 4am on July 4 on Calvert Road. The cops came for that one, it sounded like a bomb explosion. Scared the crap out of my girlfriend, I’ve learned to sleep through it at this point.
      My guess is that they lit it at that time (in an alley behind a set of rowhouses) solely to troll the ‘hood. The fireworks had stopped before midnight, so it was totally out-of-the-blue.

  • Honestly, you’re lucky if all you got was 4 hours on the actual 4th. On the 4th itself, it’s a fool’s errand to try to get any response from the police, unless something serious happens. One year we had a patch of grass go up in our yard (a very dry year) from a stray firework, and that was enough to get the police to tell the offenders to move – which they did, to half a block away, where there were plenty of other dry lawns for debris to land in.
    If it is *not* the 4th and you can come up with a legitimate safety concern, the police will usually respond and chase them away. At 7 PM yesterday, after over 8 hours of crackling and booming (oh, yes, started before Noon), and as the ammo got bigger as daylight started to dim, I got fed up and reported: (1) fireworks on a playground where children were present; and (2) youths improperly setting off large fireworks (aiming roman candles directions other than “up”), adjacent to the park. That got a police response and the show moved a few blocks away. It was something…

    • justinbc

      Apparently some people call in and report that they heard gun shots, and that actually forces the police to come out. That’s how they tried to shut down various known fireworks displays across the city this year.

      • I disagree with the people who lie. I always cite the worst possible thing (the 911 operator yesterday kept trying to say “so you’re filing a noise complaint” and I kept repeating “no, ma’am, I am reporting illegal fireworks being discharged in a dangerous manner on and very near a playground with large groups of young children present”), but I don’t lie. Gunshots require more resources than fireworks violations, and then there’s the risk of chicken little syndrome.

        • justinbc

          I’m not advocating it, just reporting that people have found that to be effective.

          • Fair enough, but a few weeks ago there was a legitimate gunshot near my house. I know what a gun sounds like, so I called 911. They called me back 3x and kept asking me “are you *sure* it wasn’t a firecracker?” When people lie, it hurts people who really need the help. If someone *really* heard a gunshot at the time that I called about fireworks, the person reporting a gunshot deserves the resources more than I do. While the fireworks in and near the park weren’t safe and were disruptive, they were less of a danger than someone popping off a gun…

  • Aside from the “get out of town” angle, one thing I actually hadn’t thought of before this year (I’ve always had dogs that don’t care about fireworks, luckily) is desensitization. Sure, it’s probably a little annoying to have the sound of fireworks going off in your house at a low volume for long periods of time – but if it helps for next year, it’s worth it. There’s a guide for it on this website with mp3s: http://www.dogsandfireworks.com/
    Also – how about a thunder shirt too? And, there’s always a trip to your vet before the big day to see if they can give you a couple of downers for your pup (or benadryl if you’ve tried it in small doses with your dog prior – some dogs do not take well to it).

  • move to a quiet suburban neighborhood

    I had fireworks going on until around 11PM last night…what is the law in regards to fireworks on days that are not the 4th of July?

  • glad that Ms Marty and I can take off from work for the week, load up the kids and dogs and leave town. We’ve done it for years. I realize that not everyone has the work flexibility that we do, and i feel bad for them. I don’t think that MPD should focus all available resources on fireworks all of a sudden, but I do think that it’d be nice to see some enforcement.

  • Our neighborhood’s went on til at least 2:30 in the morning! And then resumed the next day. We’ll see if they resume again tonight…. easily my least favorite holiday.

  • Gonna have to disagree with most everyone here.

    The fireworks show is great in my neighborhood, and I enjoy watching them from my front steps every year. I turned the fan on super loud and the baby and the dog slept fine.

    I would be disappointed to see these broken up, though I agree with policing after midnight.

    • Me too. People, get a grip. It’s Fourth of July. I sat on my front porch in Petworth and watched an incredible fireworks show in the neighborhood. At one point, I went across the street to see who was putting them on. It was the grandchildren of a woman who had lived on the street for 25 years. She was there, with her daughters, and their children.

      I am told it was really quiet in McMansion-land.

    • I’m fine with those who set off fireworks (even if illegal) in the safest way they can and who limit the show. In my old hood, it was well known that one house put on a killer show, out in the street, with hoses and buckets on hand, starting 20 minutes after the downtown show stopped (we could see the downtown show from one particular corner) and going for about an hour (in other words, stopping around 10:45 PM). I showed up for that, and it was a good time. They came out the next morning and cleaned up, even. That’s not even a problem. The idiots who set off a quarter stick right outside my window a couple years ago on something like June 20, the idiots who let kids point roman candles any which way yesterday, the idiots who set our yard (and a couple of others) on fire some 5 years ago…those people are problems.
      My dog was actually pretty fine with fireworks until that quarter-stick incident. It scared me as much as him, so it’s understandable that he now seems to get a little nervous at the booms. Personally, I was otherwise occupied during most of it this year (at the Foo Fighters festival), but I closed him in an interior portion of my home, left the radio up loud, and made sure he had lots of walks with the dog walker and things to chew on. He seemed fine when I got home. I don’t object to having to “protect” him from the sounds for a few hours on one day. I do get a little annoyed at having to do it for the better part of a month…

  • My suggestion is to live in Maryland, where they’re illegal.

  • SIMPLE SOLUTION – Leave town for the weekend! This has been going on since I was a kid, and I am 33 years old. You become immune to it, from Memorial Day until Labor Day really you are going to hear all sorts of fireworks going off that’s just part of life and it is not going to change. I for one enjoy it, it is one holiday that I always look forward to.

    These are things to think about when you move to a urban city……and even in the suburbs you might encounter the same.

  • I’ve learned today that a lot of the loud fireworks that have been going off are actually sticks of dynamite. Some people are literally lighting sticks of dynamite for loud boom. That has actually nothing to do with the 4th of July or fireworks. Like some people said, it’s just a reason for people to blow things up without getting in trouble. I don’t think anyone minds fireworks, but even those should be regulated to where they aren’t set off after a certain time of night, or day. Living in a city and dealing with everyone’s habits is one thing, but being destructive and loud for absolutely no reason is annoying even if someone has the right to do it.

    • Can I ask where you heard that people in DC are setting off sticks of dynamite? I think even the Washington Post might report on it if that were true.

      • Tsar of Truxton

        I think it is a bit of an urban legend that M80s are quarter sticks of dynamite. I have heard this mannnny times, but I don’t think it is true. Either way, the only purpose they serve is an explosion (big boom…no pretty light)

    • Hey mom, those “sticks of dynamite” are called M-80s. They’ve been around forever.

      • Actually they’re not M-80s. A friend told me there are people that are actually purchasing dynamite. Not M-80s. Actual, real life dynamite.

        • Actually, they’re probably what I mentioned above, a “quarter-stick.” While they have the dynamite terminology, they’re really just very powerful, very illegal fireworks (illegal almost everywhere, for good reason). It’s easy to hear “quarter-stick” and think “TNT,” but they’re not. They are, however, INSANELY loud and dangerous. Even more powerful than an M-80…

    • Um, dynamite would cause extensive property damage. Do you see any? If not, it’s not dynamite.

  • “Don’t like it? Leave town for the weekend!”

    Ok, sweet. They are going off at 1 AM Monday morning.

    • Well then you shouldn’t live in a city. City living isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t ok with your neighbors celebrating freedom and expressing themselves as they please by blowing sh!t up from Memorial Day through Labor Day, you should move to the suburbs.

  • If that’s the standard then maybe living isn’t for everyone

  • Petworth was awful this year. It’s gone from some families lighting some small fireworks to groups of drunk people letting off huge, illegal fireworks. I saw kids as small as 5 years old running around with lit bottle rockets and black cats throwing them. The parents seemed oblivious. I even saw one parent throw firecrackers at the feet of his daughter and acted like it was funny. Something needs to be done. I’m plan to talk to CM Brandon Todd this week.

    • LOL, don’t ever go to China for CNY or Japan during the summer hanabi. You’ll see 8 year-old kids shooting small bottle rockets and throwing firecrackers at each other. The parents find it hilarious and cute.

  • I’m really sorry to hear your pup is so sensitive to the fireworks. I know a lot of dogs have that issue. I’m very, very grateful that my pup was so tuckered out by the time the big displays started, that he slept through most of the noise. While he was awake, it didn’t seem to bother him.

    That said, this year seemed much crazier than last year from where I am in Bloomingdale, and while I did enjoy the fireworks, I was pretty bitter about the revelers who spent the night blocking the street, preventing anyone from parking, coming, or going and not even blinking an eye when a car or a person approached. From where I stood, it looked pretty intimidating for anyone trying to get to the end of the block. Even worse, not a single sparkler, bottle rocket, can, or package from the fireworks was picked up by those who came here to use them. I spent a good part of my day on Sunday cleaning up the mess that they left on the street, sidewalk, and yards.

  • One of the things I really dislike about DC in the summer – other than the tropical levels of humidity – are the non-professional fireworks around the 4th. It’s like living in a war zone, particularly on the holiday and the days before and after. It’s a dangerous practice and I’m surprised there aren’t tons of injuries, especially when fireworks are set off inappropriately and end up zooming across the street or directly into one’s front window (as happened to me a couple of years ago). It’s also filthy, with the detritus from the works all over the sidewalks for days after.

  • I have lived in DC for more than 60 years. As kid we never had fireworks or sparkles…Mom did not believe in setting money on fire. I have noticed for the past few years the fireworks (percussion bombs?) start in early to mid June. For years I would stay in Montgomery or Howard County for peace and quiet over the July 4th holiday. Either that or try Delaware; prohibited there. I expect that when I return to DC next week I will still hear the fireworks shoot into the sky as early as 7 pm and as late as 2 am until August.

  • Skip town and take the dogs. Ours have the same problem, so we just leave.

  • People with complaints like these are the same people who give out toothbrushes or apples on Halloween. Boo.

    • It can be scary having to walk home after 8pm on the 3rd , 4th , and 5th of July. People should not be allowed to shoot the projectile fire works it could potentially injure someone

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