Should Great Falls’ Fireworks Ordinance Be Revisited?

Are all those booms, pops and ka-bams we heard over the weekend as Great Falls celebrated Independence Day 2021 the sound of freedom – or the sound of irresponsibility?

Here’s something I posted on my personal Facebook page last Wednesday:

“Let’s be careful and kind out there, Great Falls.

Hot and dry conditions here means we have to be extra vigilant with fireworks this year.

I’ve been consulting with our City Manager and he has assured me that our Fire Marshall and Fire Chief are prepared. Even so, City safety personnel and LE just don’t have the resources to enforce all citywide fireworks violations.

That means personal responsibility.

Have a thought for your neighbors, their pets, the elderly, military vets with PTSD and the community as a whole. Have fun, but don’t be a jackass with fireworks. That’s not who we are here in GF.”

“That’s not who we are in Great Falls.” Or is it?

Great Falls is one of the very few larger towns in Montana that still allows the public to shoot off fireworks within the city limits, even in residential neighborhoods.

I enjoy some sparklers and fountains and even a couple of the noisier variety of fireworks for the kids and grandkids myself, but I certainly understand how a lot of local folks don’t find the non-stop noise, and smoke and fire danger to be enjoyable at all.

One citizen commented to me that, “If I want to live in a war zone for three days every year I’d move to Fallujah, Iraq!”

In-town fireworks has been a perennial debate here in the Electric City, and for as long as I’ve been following it I’ve considered it about a 50-50 split: half say, “Keep your hands off of my 4th of July celebration!”, while the other half say, “Why should I have to put up with all the smoke and noise at all hours of the night. I’m a taxpaying citizen too!”

I expect the debate to continue, and I will continue to listen to both sides. Let me know what you think by emailing me at

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Posted by Rick Tryon

Rick Tryon is an entrepreneur, a singer-songwriter, and is currently serving a four year term as a Great Falls City Commissioner. Helping Montana become an even greater place to live, play and work is Tryon's passion.

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