Jun 30, 2022 - Things to Do

Minneapolis and St. Paul are skipping July 4 fireworks

Illustration of scissors cutting a lit fuse on a firecracker.
Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

The skies will be dark in St. Paul and Minneapolis this 4th of July as both cities are skipping fireworks again.

Why it matters: Fireworks are an Independence Day staple, but due to COVID restrictions, high costs, staffing shortages and other logistical challenges, we haven’t had city-sponsored displays in years.

  • Minneapolis’ last show was in 2019; St. Paul’s was in 2017.

What they’re saying: Minneapolis, which chose not to hold the annual Red, White and Boom fireworks show over the Mississippi River, cited park staff shortages and construction at Father Hennepin Park.

  • There wasn’t a safe location to stage them on the other side of the river, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board spokesperson Robin Smothers told Axios.

Meanwhile: St. Paul, which has canceled fireworks several times over budget concerns, didn’t include a line in this year’s budget for a display, a spokesperson for Mayor Melvin Carter told Axios.

Yes, and: While there will be plenty of backyard shows, they probably won't be legal. Most fireworks, including ones that lift off the ground, are illegal in Minnesota — and displays have to have a certified fireworks operator on hand.

  • Minneapolis has 12 operators; St. Paul has three, according to a state database.

What they’re doing: CHS Field in St. Paul will still have fireworks after the July 1, 2 and 3 games, and Minneapolis is holding four smaller, family-friendly celebrations without fireworks in various city parks.

Be smart: If you choose to light your own fireworks (the legal ones, of course), do it safely. Around 70 people are injured by fireworks each year in Minnesota.

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