$181 and a box of sparklers later…

There’s a burn ban in the neighborhood folks.
That’s right. No fireworks allowed on the 4th of July.

Now I understand your concerns.
“Independence day without a dazzling display of fiery colorful excess in the night sky?  It’s simply unAmerican.”
And while you may have a point, we must remember the true reason for the season–commemorating when the Holy Lord gave George Washington the deed to the United States and told him “Go forth, and rock.”

And by God, we went forth and rocked, didn’t we?
We started a nation from scratch, we fought for personal freedoms, we valued ingenuity and creativity (and it only took a few hundred years to figures out women and minorities deserve a piece of the American Pie as well).

And here we are 235 years later.  Our bic-tridec-cinco-centential and we can’t even have a few explosions in the sky?

Well hang in there my friends, they may take our fireworks, but they can never take our backyard bbqs.

And in case you are thinking of throwing caution to the burn ban, and lighting up anyway. Allow me to tell you a cautionary tale.

Once upon a time, my friends and I decided to ignore a burn ban back in high school.  At dusk on July 4th, we snuck into an abandoned pool after hours with only our bright eyes, full hearts, and a case of keystone.

I, in my American flag speedo, decided it just wasn’t the 4th of July without fireworks and we collectively decided we had to all pitch in to buy one of those mega-monster freedom packs.  You know.  The $90 ones with the eagles and American flags all over it.

I was more moderate, however.  My pragmatism, care for the environment, and general fear of spontaneous combustion led me to not pitch in for the mega-monster freedom pack.  No, my friends. I purchase one box of sparklers for $1.

Being pleased with our decision we went back to the pool and enjoyed the fruits of our purchases.  We laughed, we cried, we threw black cats at stray animals.  It was the 4th of July.  I was young and invincible.  The sky erupted with yellow flashes and fading embers.  Sparks ignited the midnight air.

…and I ran around the pool in my speedo with sparklers in both hands.

Then the sky filled with a different color.  Flashes of red and blue.
The cracking of fireworks and echoes of young summer laugher were replaced with the all too familiar sounds of police sirens.

It was the cops.

Everything rushed through my head.  What will my mom say? Am I a criminal?  Where are my pants?  Will I have to take a mug shot practically nude? Oh God!

A few terrified tears and some paperwork later, we were each charged with a fireworks violation.  $180 a piece for lighting up during a burn ban.  Needless to say the local Police Department made bank that night and I learned a valuable life lesson.

The violation for the mega-monster freedom pack is the same as a box of sparklers.
So go big or go home.

But really, respect the burn bans folks, or you might end up like this guy.
Cold, wet, and $180 down.

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About nowplayingaustin

The Austin Creative Alliance is a nonprofit performing arts service organization working to cultivate an environment where the performing arts can grow and flourish. We serve over 130 arts organizations with marketing, ticketing, audience development services; AEA paymaster, information & referral services — plus access to affordable health, liability, and event insurance. We also provide online professional development seminars, fiscal sponsorship services for emerging arts groups, host annual unified general auditions, annual theatre industry awards, and consistently advocate for the many benefits the arts bring to our quality of life.

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