Using fireworks inside Dickinson city limits illegal: Sales, on the other hand, are legalThere’s nothing out of the ordinary outside the white tent of Dakota Fireworks on West Villard Street.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
There’s nothing out of the ordinary outside the white tent of Dakota Fireworks on West Villard Street.
But when Julie Begger of Belfield and her family slipped inside, they were transported to a heaven of firecrackers, snappers and bottle rockets perched on dozens of tables.
“We really enjoy fireworks and usually try to check out all of the stands and see the variety of stuff that’s out there,” Begger said. “I like the artilleries best though because some of them are really pretty, if you’ve picked the right one. Last year, we had some that really took over the sky. It was beautiful.”
Dakota Fireworks owner Kyle Thiel said it is the first year he’s sold fireworks at the West Villard Street location and he will be there through July 5, where he will sell “pretty much any kind of fireworks that are legal in North Dakota.”
“This seems to be a convenient location for people because they don’t have to travel too far to get their fireworks,” Thiel said. “We’ve only been open 24 hours, but it feels like it’s been three days already, as we’ve been getting ready for the opening and business has been OK so far.”
The sale of consumer fireworks in North Dakota are allowed only between June 27 and July 5, and buyers must be at least 12 years old, according to the state fire marshal.
By state law, fireworks purchases are limited to star lights, helicopter flyers, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, wheels, torches, colored fire, sparklers, dipped sticks, comets, shells, and soft shell firecrackers not to exceed an inch and a half in length and one-quarter inch in diameter. The total pyrotechnic composition must not exceed 50 milligrams each.
The prospect of purchasing any of the above appealed to the Begger family, who Julie Begger said always catch “fireworks fever” this time of year.
“This is pretty much a tradition for us to go looking for fireworks before the Fourth of July,” she said. “We’ve traveled to Beach before for fireworks and have probably gone as far as 40 miles to find the best fireworks. We were actually here (at Dakota Fireworks) yesterday and bought some bigger stuff, but we came back today so our son, his friends and our cousin could check this stuff out.”
Begger’s husband, Ron, said the fireworks show the family sets off is mostly to entertain the younger children, especially those who will attend the Begger’s barbecue this holiday.
The Begger’s cousin, Eli Easton, 6, Dickinson, scoured the store before feasting his eyes on the beloved tanks that he wanted to bring home.
“The tanks shoot out and explode and I have a new idea this year,” Easton said. “I wanted to get three of them and line them up and watch as they go up and make a sound like, ‘Psh, psh, psh.’”
Fireworks can be sold within the city limits, but Dickinson City Administrator Shawn Kessel said they cannot be shot off in the city.
“They’re dangerous, that’s the No. 1 reason, but they could also cause property issues,” he said. “You may shoot them off on your property, but the fireworks may not land on your property. They can also be loud and disruptive, so although they’re beautiful, they’re not ideal to have set off in the city limits. We do have problems every year with people doing it. This year, we have more and more people who have come here from out of state and they were unaware that setting off fireworks is prohibited in the city limits.”
For all of the fun fireworks can bring, Dickinson Rural Fire Department Chief Andy Paulson said people need to be cautious when setting off fireworks.
As of Thursday morning, the fire risk was low, which was OK for fireworks, Paulson said.
He advised people check the National Weather Service in Bismarck’s website for the latest burn ban conditions.
Paulson said the fire department receives calls every year around the Fourth of July, especially for accidents that involve bottle rockets. He said the number of calls vary each year and often depends on how dry it is outside.
“If people go out and set off their own fireworks, they should remember to take water and an extinguisher along, so they can put out any small fires,” he said.
“Also, it’s key that people remember to call for help right away before the fire gets too large and gets out of control. The quicker help can get there, less land is likely to be lost and hopefully there will be fewer injuries.”