It was the noisiest fourth of July ever. My dog spent most of the evening and night in the shower, afraid to venture out as neighbors fired off all sorts of fireworks. Most of them are illegal in Minnesota, but in St. Paul anything goes. This year they were professional-quality fireworks and plenty of them.
I watched as a young couple with a small child tried to make their way down Smith Avenue near the high bridge and had to stop and figure out where they could walk as bottle rockets were flying from front porches on both sides of the street. It doesn’t seem safe in a populated urban area to shoot bottle rockets into the street or above the roof tops.
The police cruised by on motorcycles but our system is complaint-driven, and that means that unless a bottle rocket accidentally hits one of St. Paul’s finest no action will be taken. The St. Paul fire department had a busy night; there were a lot of sirens. No way to know how many people were injured or how much property damage there was.
Even if the city decided to enforce the law, there is not enough law enforcement to do the job. They are busy with the Taste of Minnesota and with traffic control. I like living in St. Paul, except on July 4th. I am always happy when it is over.