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Fire chief loves fireworks as much as anyone, but had to deny permits for Fourth

Rick Solem

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No La Crosse Skyrockers fireworks show for the Fourth of July.

Gilliam

Here’s just exactly how City of La Crosse Fire Chief Ken Gilliam feels about that:

“It’s just a tough year and COVID sucks,” Gilliam said. “You heard the fire chief say it. I had to deny a few permits that broke my heart.

“I love the Skyrockers. I love firework shows. We, unfortunately, weren’t allowed to have large gatherings. We just decided, collectively, that a fireworks show isn’t going to do any good, if not getting 10,000 people down to Riverside Park.”

As for those fireworks at home, Gilliam points out what’s legal and illegal with the easiest of explanations.

“In a nutshell, anything that leaves the ground is illegal,” Gilliam said. “So sparklers, snakes, little things spinning on the ground, I think you’re OK.

“You got Clark Griswold out there with ‘bigger is always better,’ and pretty soon you got darn near a Skyrockers show going off on a suburban cul-de-sac.”

Gilliam added the fine for illegal fireworks could be around $150-200 but warned the penalty is worse yet if you blow your hand off or burn your house down.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM and "liberal hack" | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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