Winslow voters will decide whether to ban personal use of fireworks on Nov. 8.
Winslow voters will soon decide whether to ban the personal use of fireworks in town. Credit: CBS 13

For 25 years, Winslow put on the one of largest Fourth of July fireworks shows in central Maine. Now, the town might ban the personal use of fireworks altogether.

If voters approve the ban on Nov. 8, only professional fireworks shows would be allowed.

Under the ban, violators will face a $250 fine for the first offense and $500 for subsequent violations

“Most of the councilors have had complaints from their constituents about fireworks,” Councilor Peter Drapeau said.

Drapeau said ever since personal use became legal in Maine about 10 years ago, complaints over the noise have piled up.

“We’re having complaints from veterans,” Drapeau said. “We’re having complaints from the elderly. We’re having complaints from farmers. Having complaints from people who just are annoyed by them.”

Marcel Cyr is one of those people. He’s tired of fireworks being shot off in his neighborhood.

“Well, it keeps us awake at night,” Cyr said. “You go to bed at 8:30 at night and they’re shooting fireworks all over the place.”

Jonathan Brown agreed that fireworks should be banned in neighborhoods, but he sees nothing wrong with shooting them off in the country.

“I think people should be allowed to set off fireworks,” Brown said. “I mean, I enjoy watching them. And as far as I know, there haven’t been too many instances with it and everything. So I don’t see what the issue is.”

Neither does Vern Carlow, the manager of the Pyro City Fireworks.

He encourages customers to let their neighbors know ahead of time when they plan to use fireworks to make sure no one objects.

He said there’s no need for an all-out ban.

“This particular ban, the way it is written, bans everything in my store,” Carlow said.

He said 700 of his customers live in Winslow and spend $200 on average each time they buy.

If voters approve the ban, he said it will likely force the closure of his store, as it has in other towns with similar fireworks bans.

“Once tourist season ain’t here, we’re depending on the locals,” Carlow said. “And if everybody coming by my store can’t use them, then who am I going to sell to.”.