With restrictions on large gatherings across Los Angeles County still in place because of COVID-19, it comes as no surprise that the annual firework celebration in Boyle Heights has been cancelled.
Boyle Heights’ Independence Day celebration along with others in Northeast Los Angeles were sponsored by District 14 Councilmember José Huízar. The decision to cancel them, however, was made before he was arrested and suspended from City Council this week.
A long held tradition usually held in Hollenbeck Park, the event would bring resources through local organizations, food vendors, musicians, singers and of course, a late night fireworks show to light up the sky.
Events planned and sponsored by local officials served as some of the few legally-sanctioned 4th of July fireworks displays in the City of Los Angeles and served as a deterrent for illegal firework sales and use, which both carry a misdemeanor charge.
Reports of illegal fireworks across the city have long been an issue in Boyle Heights, but there appears to be a big increase in 2020 –and, according to news reports, the practice has become common nationwide.
The number of illegal fireworks cases phoned-in to police in Los Angeles increased 170 percent in the first three weeks of June compared to last year, according to patrol data from the LAPD.
Setting off illegal fireworks can often prove dangerous from the risk of causing injuries to the triggering effects it can have on people with PTSD, individuals with special needs and household pets. Below are some tweets from community members in regards to the recent increase: