Fireworks illegal in Springfield, but neighbors say some still set off on Fourth of July

Published: Jul. 5, 2020 at 8:45 PM CDT
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There may have been fewer public fireworks displays this year, but that did not keep the skies from being lit up with fireworks all night long.

Fireworks are illegal within the Springfield city limits. In some cases, using them can result in up to a $500 fine.

Neighbors in the Woodland Heights area say fireworks were still set off around them. While some people enjoy the fireworks on the week of Independence Day, others say can be a little much.

"Some of us have been having fireworks here for four days now," neighbor Rosa Mercado said.

Mercado said she and other neighbors, who are part of the Woodland Heights neighborhood association, have been bothered by the fireworks for some time.

"Well it's late. We're trying to respect the law here," she said. "And it's just real late at night, 10:30, 11, midnight fireworks. And we're not getting enough sleep."

She said it can also be bothersome to animals in the area too.

"Some are having problems with their pets. Their dogs are scared and frightened."

Other neighbors in the area said they do not mind the fireworks and think they are all in good fun. They say the city ordinance should be updated to match other cities.

Cities like Ozark, Nixa, Republic and Branson all have firework ordinances that contain time frames people can shoot fireworks during the Fourth of July.

In unincorporated parts of Greene County, fireworks are legal to set off. However, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office says penalties are possible in cases deemed as a peace disturbance.

Mercado said she does not think the city's current ordinance is being enforced.

"I don't think we have enough police force to handle the situation," she said.

According to Springfield police call logs, dozens of callers contacted police Saturday night over fireworks. Officers handled more than 20 situations in Springfield city limits.