Laura Venneri

When I think of the Fourth of July, I think of barbecues, family, friends, watermelon and fireworks. 

Our family enjoys the holiday by visiting, eating, and watching fireworks. We now live outside of the Battle Ground city limits with two horses, three cats and two dogs. One of our dogs is so scared of fireworks that he turns into a shaking bundle of fur if we don’t slightly sedate him and move him to a small room with music to muffle the noise. 

The good news is the horses enjoy watching the flashes in the sky but for safety reasons, they are put into their stalls and turnouts. The cats? They hide in the barn and manage just fine.

On Independence Day our neighborhood resembles a war zone as the loud popping and booming of fireworks lights up the sky. The chaos starts at dusk and continues until midnight, or so, a few days before and on the Fourth. We make adjustments and take precautions every year but we know that it’s only a temporary situation. 

When we lived in the city of Battle Ground, we only had a dog and we made adjustments on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. It wasn’t an issue, it was just the way things were.

Last week the city of Battle Ground sent out a request to the public asking for their input on the use and impact of fireworks around the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. They encourage community members to participate in the survey through April 27. 

I decided to ask the past mayor of Battle Ground, Philip Johnson, what type of feedback he experienced last year during the Fourth of July season regarding fireworks. Johnson stated that he had “maybe 20 complaints out of 21,000 people in the city and that’s just not enough complaints to want to make a change.”

It will be interesting to hear what the survey results are. 

I know that some people have concerns about the noise, mess and safety of fireworks. Their concerns are not lost on me. I understand that some people don’t like fireworks but some people do. According to my research, fireworks have been around since the 1800s. Sure, they’ve changed and evolved, gotten bigger, brighter, and louder, but they’ve been a part of ceremonies, celebrations, history. Fireworks were a part of my childhood celebrations, my parent’s, and now my children. Although I don’t live in Battle Ground proper, I hope that tradition isn’t taken away from my family and friends who do. 

It’s frustrating that a few people might ruin a long tradition for so many.

Note:

If you would like to review the survey or participate, you can find it on the city’s website, cityofbg.org, or a hard-copy can be picked up at the following locations:

Battle Ground City Hall, 109 SW 1st Street

Battle Ground Police Department,

507 SW 1st Street

Battle Ground Fire Station,

505 SW 1st Street

Battle Ground Community Center,

912 East Main Street

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