Saturday, July 2, 2011

Are fireworks illegal? Your Fourth of July primer

Posted By on Sat, Jul 2, 2011 at 12:00 PM

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Congratulations, y'all. New Orleans is one of the best places to celebrate America.

To answer the question, no. At least not in Orleans Parish. Shooting fireworks is totally, 100 percent not allowed here.

Your secret horde from Crazy Carl's, a couple brown paper bags stuffed with Exploding Butterflies or Frog Hopping Whizzers or whatever, the stash you've carried with a big dumb grin and had to hold yourself back from lighting right there in the back of your car — nope, can't fire them (legally) in New Orleans.

There are, however, carefully arranged fireworks displays, like Go 4th on the River, which closes with a fireworks finale at 9 p.m. over the Mississippi River near Spanish Plaza.

Make a friend in Gretna and blow up as many M-80s as your 12-year-old kid-heart desires. If you're traveling outside the metro area, chances are fireworks are OK there, too. Slidell also has the thumbs-up, though State Fire Marshal Butch Browning basically says lighting fireworks could and probably will blow off some part of your body.

More Fourth of July happenings, and Do's and Don'ts, after the jump.

To flesh out your playlist of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." on repeat for 12 hours, the free Wednesdays on the Point concert series is throwing a Fourth of July version from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, with Bonerama and Stooges Brass Band, near Holy Name of Mary (at 500 Eliza St.) a few blocks from the Algiers Ferry terminal.

Weirdo Fest begins at 3 p.m. at Siberia and lasts indefinitely, or infinitely, whichever. Check out Fight the Goober, Dummy Dumpster, The Bills and Indian Givers, among others.

Also, New Year's Eve and July 4 are everyone's favorite "Shoot Gun into Sky, Make it Rain Bullets" days — also known as celebratory gunfire time (Thanks, Wikipedia!). Falling bullets can probably, just maybe, kill a person, and they have, but mostly they are just terrifying. So don't do that. Here's NOPD:

As a reminder, it is illegal in New Orleans to ignite fireworks or discharge firearms. Violators will be subject to arrest. Citizens should also utilize a designated driver if consuming alcohol.

Fireworks, guns — check. Now on to the subject of alcohol. Also food.

Your menu for the Fourth probably, if you're me, reads like a five-year-old's party menu at Celebration Station, plus booze. Ian McNulty has your best bets for hot dogs. As for drinks, buy American. Better yet, buy local. Brews to look for: Abita, Bayou Teche, Heiner Brau, NOLA Brewing, Tin Roof, Acadiana's Parish, and brewhouses Crescent City and sort-of-local Gordon Biersch.

As we say around these parts, be safe out there.

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