Fireworks make-up day approved in Fayetteville

A sign points customers to a Phoenix Fireworks tent off Wedington Drive in Fayetteville Tuesday afternoon.

Photo: Todd Gill

Fireworks will get their day in Fayetteville after all.

The Fayetteville City Council approved a resolution Tuesday night allowing for the use of fireworks on Labor Day (Sept. 3, 2012) in light of the current citywide burn ban.

Before the change, city code stated that fireworks may only be legally used in town between July 1-4, but Fayetteville is one of several area cities to issue burn bans which prohibit the use of fireworks during this year’s Fourth of July holiday due to recent dry conditions.

The new rule will only apply when fireworks are banned during the Fourth of July holiday.

Mayor Lioneld Jordan, who walked the item onto Tuesday night’s agenda, said he received several requests from fireworks vendors to consider allowing a make-up day to help spur slow sales this year.

One request came from Hal Henson, who runs a Phoenix Fireworks tent on 51st Street off Wedington Drive.

“I was just looking for some hope,” said Henson. “I told the mayor I wasn’t asking for a specific date, but to please consider taking it to the City Council.”

Henson said he understands the need for the burn ban, but with sales at his location down nearly 75 percent so far this year, he was crossing his fingers for a make-up day in hopes that it would lead to a better ending to the 2012 season.

“I’m not at all opposed to the ban, because it can be dangerous to shoot fireworks in these conditions,” said Henson. “But we’ll certainly appreciate the extra day.”

The council initially discussed allowing fireworks on the first Saturday following the lifting of the burn ban, but Ward 1 Alderwoman Brenda Boudreaux suggested following the lead of a neighboring city which addressed the same issue earlier this week.

Springdale City Council members, in a special meeting held Monday night, approved allowing fireworks on Sunday, Sept. 2 and Monday, Sept. 3, for the upcoming Labor Day holiday.

“If it’s not on a recognized holiday, I think it’s going to be difficult for anyone to plan around it,” said Boudreaux.

Ward 2 Alderman Matthew Petty agreed. “They made this decision last night and I think there will be a lot less confusion if we just pick the same day,” he said.

Ultimately, the group voted unanimously to allow fireworks on one day – from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3.

Council members briefly discussed allowing fireworks vendors more days to sell merchandise, but didn’t add any language to the resolution granting additional time. City code allows vendors to operate fireworks stands between June 28 and July 5.