Recently, the city of Palm Springs, California issued a statement that it would replace its normal Fourth of July traditional fireworks display with a laser light show. They also stated that this change was due to the negative impacts that the loud noises could have on local animals and veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This new change to the old traditions is a result of a 3-2 city council vote this past month against authorizing $55,000 in order to fun the “All American July 4, 2021, Fireworks Event.” The officials also issued the cancellation of the pyrotechnics this last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the staffers of the city stated that they were confident that crowds should be able to gather in a safe manner this year with protective measures. The state is set to completely resume and reopen its economy on the 15th of June.
Dennis Woods, a Councilman, stated that before the vote happened that the community is “just coming out fo covid” and “it seems like the perfect time to do a paradigm shift.”
Christy Gilbert Holstege, the Mayor of Palm Springs who voted in approval of the expenditure, stated that the move is “a sudden judgement” that seeks to cancel a “50-year” tradition.
As reported by the Palm Springs Desert Sun, “An agenda item about approving funds for fireworks was originally on the council’s consent calendar on May 6; typically, items on the consent calendar are items recommended by staff and passed without discussion by council members.” However, as stated by the outlet, “Councilman Geoff Kors requested that the item be removed from the consent calendar for discussion after several community members offered comments opposing the fireworks.”
kors raised issue, specifically, about scaring pets and wildlife, veterans and others who have PTSD, toxins, and people with respiratory issues. A group of community members who called into the virtual meeting cited air, noise, and light pollution, alongside the potentially harmful effects on the victims of gun violence. Kors stated, “we didn’t have one comment from people saying they support” the funding of the fireworks display. Grace Elena Garner, a Councilmember, argued that “Nobody thinks they need to call in to defend fireworks.”
“My phone is lighting up now because of all of the people going, ‘What? What just happened? What do you mean we’re canceling the fireworks?’” she continued.
So… no more fireworks in Palm Springs for 4th of July? NOT due to Covid… but to protect dogs and those with PTSD? Really??? Soon they will ban Birthday Cake- too much sugar! 🥺ugh… #eyeroll #andidontevencareaboutfireworks #howaboutbanninggunsfirst pic.twitter.com/sSY7TWxNVA
— Dr. Suzanne Quardt (@DrQuardt) May 7, 2021
“My phone is also blowing up,” stated Mayor Holstege. “People are appalled.”