Advocates argue for firework use only during designated times in Sioux City

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 5:18 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Veterans and advocates are urging the Sioux City community to refrain from launching fireworks outside of allowed hours. They say unexpected firework explosions can trigger PTSD.

Eli Mizelman still suffers flashbacks to his time in the Israeli Army, especially when he hears surprise fireworks in Sioux City. He’s urging residents to keep their firework use to the July 4 holiday, when he says veterans are more prepared to hear the snap and pop of fireworks.

“For me, some fireworks are worse than others. For example, the ones that are whistling, on the way up are the worst, because they really mimic rockets for me,” said Mizelman.

Sioux City officials have asked KTIV to run a public service announcement, which lets residents know fireworks are only legal on July 3 and 4, from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. both days.

“That is so crucial because when it gets you by surprise it paralyzes you,” said Mizelman.

Mark Solheim has long been an advocate for responsible firework use. He wishes the state would again allow cities to ban fireworks altogether. Outside of legislation, he’s urging residents to consider their neighbors when launching fireworks.

“I think that pointing out the fact that the pain that’s caused by the fireworks to your neighbors is very worth mentioning,” said Solheim.

Both men are encouraging residents to report illegal firework use. Not to get your neighbors in trouble, but to document and compile statistics about illegal use.

The city’s website says discharging fireworks on public property, like streets, parks and alleys, is a misdemeanor offense. Additionally, the city says no minors may discharge fireworks without parental supervision.