A Pandemic of Nightly Fireworks

Photo by Nicolas Tissot on Unsplash

The battle for my Silicon Valley neighborhood began at 9:00 PM every night. A steady round of pop-pop-pop, several loud booms, and missiles exploding in brilliant displays of light. An occasional ka-BOOM rattled the windows, setting off car alarms and dogs in equal measure.

Was it the police firing rubber bullets and gas canisters at Black Lives Matter protesters hurling Molotov cocktails in the streets?

Oh, hell no.

The nightly fireworks show of firecrackers, cherry bombs, and bottle rockets started on Memorial Day and kept going until Fourth last year. Each show lasted 15 minutes in case someone did call the police and a patrol car showed up 20 minutes later. The shadowy people who lit the fireworks slipped back into the night. The pungent smoke in the air and the spent fireworks in the gutters were the only evidence that any illegal activity took place.

Not in my neighborhood, but in everyone’s neighborhood.

Scrolling through the #fireworks tweets on Twitter in the days leading up to July 4, 2020, nightly firework shows were a regular complaint for many neighborhoods throughout the United States. Three different groups may have been responsible for the pandemic of nightly fireworks.

Read the rest of the essay at Medium.

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