Selling fireworks inside city limits has been illegal since 1910. This summer it is not, but the fireworks dealers that regularly sit just outside city limits have no interest in crossing that threshold.
Under a new city ordinance, selling fireworks in city limits, as well as discharging them, is allowed from July 2 to July 4.
A vendor who wants to sell during that time would have to get a permit through the fire department, with a sliding scale cost based on the square footage of the fireworks stand.
The last day to get one of those permits was Friday, 10 days before July 4.
According to Havre Fire Chief Dave Sheppard, no one requested a permit, so no one will be opening stands in the city.
That same day, four fireworks stands opened for business just outside the western end of the city limits, around the Great Northern Fairgrounds.
Outside city limits, there is still a time limit on selling fireworks, but it is the state’s wider window from June 24 to July 5, three times as long as the new city law.
One of those stands, Big Boom Fireworks, across the street from the entrance to the fairgrounds, is owned by Steve Berreth, who said Sunday that he didn’t really see a reason to open the booth in town.
“I am not going to go in to town to sell on those days, ” Berreth said. “It’s too much work to pack up the booth. ”
“And this is the best place to be anyway. ”
Havre’s “fireworks district” out west has been a go-to spot for those seeking patriotic combustibles for decades.
Chelby Gooch, Havre Jaycees president, said that no one she knew could remember when the Jaycees started their booth, though her best guess was sometime in the early 1980’s.
Sam Clawson, working at the Eastern Star booth, said that even though his organization has been doing their booth for only three years, that they have customers who know where to go.
“We have a location where they are used to seeing us, ” Clawson said. “If it works, don’t fix it. ”