A look at fireworks displays — and regulations — in northeast Johnson County this Fourth of July

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The Fourth of July holiday is just a couple of days away. And for many people, the holiday provides an excuse to revel in the delights of watching things blow up. Here’s an overview of public fireworks displays set for the weekend — as well as a reminder about local prohibitions on personal displays…

  • Roeland Park, Fairway and Westwood have again combined forces to put on the only public display in northeast Johnson County proper. This year’s show is set to go on this Friday, July 3 at dusk (around 9:20 p.m., according to The Google) at Bishop Miege High School.  There’s a rain date set for July 6 should inclement weather cancel this year’s festivities.

For those of you in the southern portion of our coverage area, there are displays in Leawood and Overland Park that shouldn’t be too far a hike:

  • Leawood is putting on its annual Fourth of July celebration Saturday at Leawood City Park, 10601 Lee Blvd, with gates opening at 5 p.m. The event features a number of kids activities. Live music starts at 7 p.m. A fireworks display will begin at 9:45.
  • The Star Spangled Spectacular event will begin at Corporate Woods in Overland Park at 4 p.m., with a fireworks display scheduled for 9:40 p.m.

If you’re among the cohort of people more inclined to light their own fireworks than watch someone else’s, a quick public service announcement reminding you that almost all fireworks are prohibited in northeast Johnson County municipalities:

  • All fireworks are banned in Prairie Village. And while Prairie Village officers try not to be overly strict on the issue, says Capt. Byron Roberson, they don’t have much choice but to write people up when they receive complaints. “We encourage our officers to use good decision making while patrolling and to not be overzealous in the enforcement methods,” he said. “When we receive calls for service reference fireworks complaints, we are limited on our discretion.”
  • All personal use fireworks are banned in Westwood, Fairway, Mission Hills and Merriam.
  • The vast, vast majority of fireworks are banned in Mission and Westwood Hills, though city code does permit the use of “snappers.”
  • Roeland Park permits the use of the following types of fireworks on July 3 and 4 only:
  1. Nonpoisonous snakes, smoke bombs, and items of similar composition;
  2. Cone fountains and whistling fountains without report;
  3. Sparklers and dipped sticks;
  4. Firecrackers as defined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 10 C.f.R 1500.17(a)(8) (Basic Small Firecrackers)

“So to make this simple,” says Police Chief John Morris, “NO BOTTLE ROCKETS, NO M-80’S, NO LARGE ITEMS INTO THE AIR, NO BIG ANYTHING AT ALL.”

Be safe — and smart — out there this weekend, NEJCsters.