Bozeman will never agree on fireworks, and it has always been this way. Whether they were "allowed" or not, people love them or hate them. We've discussed it many times. This year with a clear fireworks ban from the City of Bozeman, some residents are really not thrilled and they have thoughts.

In years past, the City of Bozeman did allow fireworks to be lit (in NON raging fire years) on July 3rd, 4th, and 5th. That is no longer the case in 2023. the City of Bozeman has made it very clear about private fireworks:

Fireworks are a major fire hazard, especially as the city gets denser and summers get drier. They're also banned in Bozeman. If you're found selling or lighting them, your fireworks will be confiscated and you'll be subject to a misdemeanor and a $500 fine. So stay safe, and don't add fuel to the fire!

Good News - there WILL BE a large, community fireworks display on the 4th of July, hosted by the City of Bozeman. For many years, the Gallatin Empire Lions Club was responsible for the gorgeous, annual displays based at the Fairgrounds. THIS YEAR THE FIREWORKS DISPLAY WILL BE BASED AT THE SOFTBALL COMPLEX OFF OF HIGHLAND BLVD NEAR THE HOSPITAL. 

Bad News - now your tax dollars will be paying for the display whether you like fireworks or not.

IMPORTANT NOTES: The quotes below were pulled directly from a City of Bozeman Facebook post that shared details of the in-town fireworks ban. There may be a few typos, grammatical or spelling errors. We copied and pasted responses with zero alterations.

In addition, I have no dog in this fireworks fight and unless it's a serious drought year, I've never voiced much opposition. I don't love fireworks. I don't get any sleep for 3 days. But I've learned to tolerate them as a normal part of the 4th of July.

The City of Bozeman taking over the large, community display (which was in danger of never returning, mostly due to costs) seemed to be a compromise with the decision to ban private fireworks in town altogether. You're never going to make everyone happy in this scenario, and the folks who weren't happy about the ban had thoughts:

  • "...which person that hates America and celebrating our freedoms voted to make this ridiculous ban a real thing? It’s great that they are so worried about wild fires in the city on the same day that it rained like 2 inches."
  • "I will just say that as I light off fireworks, my conduct will be calculated to celebrate our great nation, not calculated to disturb the public peace."
  • "Yeah, I cringe too whenever seeing or hearing "common sense" used to describe a ban on something. It's like the person doing it is a sock puppet for the communists. Real common sense is no longer a flower that blooms in every garden."
  • "Bozeman has way bigger problems with its citizens than fireworks being set off, where were Bozeman police when 90% of the population cannot negotiate an intersection when the power goes out, not a single ticket issued, good luck with enforcement."
  • "I'm buying extra now"
  • "It is our duty as citizens to disobey unjust law! The communist commissioners of the city of Bozeman are working overtime to destroy this city!"
  • "I’m still lighting off as many as I can."
  • "Worry about the fireworks, not the homeless camps…"
  • "We're no longer a proud country of free and brave people! We're now the home of the fearful and submissive! Keep submitting people!!! We're one step away from 1984! Watch out for the thought police!!!"
  • "I encourage everyone to break this law."
  • "Well, considering we don’t say the pledge of allegiance any longer, getting fireworks removed from our celebration of the 4th, just more censorship."
  • "Great that the California bureaucracy has taken over Bozeman. It’s really awesome that they are not only making rules to take away our freedoms, but they are also spending tax money to advertise that they are doing so. Good for them. Hail Mother Russia!"
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  • "It’s called Independence Day for a reason!"
  • "The real problem is they everyone on the city boards are from out of state. They are the real problem here trying to bring on their stupid big city ideas. We were doing just fine without them.."
  • "Disappointed that the city council gave into more NIMBY-ism. I get the drought argument but that should be a year to year decision and New Year’s never has that problem. I would be more understanding if they allowed novelty fireworks, limiting it to sparklers is just ridiculous."
  • "This is really sad. My son loves fireworks . Plenty of fire works last summer and nothing happened. What are we a giant city? No this is Bozeman. Every year this town just gets more and more boring."
  • "That is the stupidest thing ever they don’t want us to have fun."
  • "Way to kill off ‘Merica."

WHAT ABOUT GALLATIN COUNTY? Per the City of Bozeman: "Yes, fireworks are still legal in Gallatin County. There are areas known as county enclaves however that are owned by the county but wholly surrounded by city limits. Those areas are not allowed to discharge fireworks."

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