There's no doubt that fireworks are fun. Depending on how much money you're willing to spend, there's something captivating about the sounds and colorful explosions fireworks bring. But as entertaining as they are, they are essentially explosives that burn at extremely high heat and can cause serious damage if not handled properly. While you want to have fun and celebrate our nation's independence, you also want to make sure you still have all your appendages when the show is over. But, regardless of how much of your hard-earned money you spent to (almost literally) blow it up in the air, and that you are (presumably) setting them off on your own private property, there are still laws and ordinances in effect you must follow unless you want to find your show getting shut down by law enforcement.

When Can You Use Fireworks in Evansville?

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As much as you may love lighting fireworks, your neighbors may not be as thrilled about them going off late at night. For example, and I'm just spit-balling here, the neighbor who goes to bed at 8:30 - 9:00 PM because he gets up at 3:30 AM to host a morning show on a local country radio station. Maybe he doesn't want to hear several loud explosions at midnight or later since he gets up before the sun. I'm just sayin'.

However, city officials, like your neighbor, understand that it is that time of year and that fireworks are a big part of celebrating Independence Day, so they compromise and allow you to get your kicks within a certain timeframe around the holiday by putting ordinances in place that spells out exactly when you can and can't light up the night sky and scare the neighbor's dog.

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City of Evansville Ordinance Regarding Fireworks

Evansville Municipal Code 9.10.020 lays out the following rules when it comes to fireworks:

  • No person shall use, ignite or discharge consumer fireworks within the corporate limits of the City of Evansville except during the following times:
    • (a) Between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and two hours after sunset not to exceed 10:30 p.m. on June 29th, June 30th, July 1st, July 2nd, July 3rd, July 5th, July 6th, July 7th, July 8th, and July 9th; and
    • (b) Between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight on July 4th; and
    • (c) Between the hours of 10:00 a.m. on December 31st and 1:00 a.m. on January 1st
  • No person may use, ignite, or discharge consumer fireworks on any public street or in any public park or public area within the corporate limits of the City of Evansville at any time.
  • No person may use, ignite, or discharge consumer fireworks in a manner which causes them to land upon property owned or occupied by another person.
  • Any person who sells or offers to sell consumer fireworks within the City shall post a clear and conspicuous notice of the restrictions in this section, specifically the dates and times set forth in subsections (A)(2) and (3) of this section at or near each entrance to their business.
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Of course, this ordinance only applies to residents who live within the city limits. If you live outside the limits in Vanderburgh County, the rules are as follows according to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office:

  • Indiana Code 22-11-14-6 allows you to discharge fireworks on your property until 11 PM. On a legal holiday (which by statute includes every Sunday) you may discharge fireworks up until midnight.
  • You may only discharge fireworks on your own property, on property that you have permission to use, or at a special discharge location authorized by the fire department having jurisdiction. If you are under 18 years of age, you must have an adult present in order to possess or use fireworks. Discharging or possessing fireworks in violation of IC 22-11-14-6 is punishable as a Class C Infraction.
  • Vanderburgh County Code 12.24.010(u) prohibits the possession or discharge of fireworks within a county-maintained park.

Fireworks Laws Outside of Evansville and Vanderburgh County

If you don't live in Evansville or Vanderburgh County, chances are the county you do live in defers to Indiana Code 22-11-14-6. However, it would be a good idea to check with your local law enforcement to make sure before lighting that first bottle rocket or Roman candle.

[Source: City of Evansville / Vanderburgh County Sheriff's OfficeFindLaw.com]

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