It’s June, and that means the 4th of July is going to be here before we know it. While we always look forward to hotdogs, parades and fireworks displays on the 4th of July, this year will be a little bit different. Many cities around the country have canceled their usual fireworks shows and parades due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While you may not be able to watch a live fireworks show on the 4th of July, chances are you’ve already seen a few fireworks this year. From sea to shining sea, people have been calling 311 and reporting that their neighbors are setting off illegal fireworks. 

While people call to complain about fireworks every year in June, there have been many, many more phone calls this year. For example, last year in Boston the police received 22 calls about fireworks, but this year, in 2020, the police have already received 1,600 calls. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, the police have already received 6,385 calls about fireworks when last year they only received 27 calls.


What is going on? Why are there so many reports of fireworks in June this year as opposed to other years? There are a few theories.

For starters, since many legal fireworks shows have been canceled this year, one theory is that fireworks distributors are selling the fireworks to ordinary citizens.

Another theory is that the lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic have caused many citizens to look for some sort of escape from boredom at home. That’s why setting off fireworks at night might be extra appealing for some people this year.

A third theory is that since streets have been quieter than usual due to the lockdowns, we all might have a slightly more fine-tuned sense of hearing. Since we’ve recently become used to less noise than usual, we may be bothered by sounds that are quieter than would usually bother us. For example, maybe we wouldn’t have even heard the fireworks popping blocks away last year while this year we’re reaching for the phone to call the police.  

While fireworks are beautiful, neighbors setting them off every night is a major problem for a lot of people. For some, it reminds them of war and they literally don’t know whether they’re hearing gun shots or fireworks at first. For others, their dogs and children are scared by the noise.

Have you heard fireworks in your neighborhood recently? If so, do they bother you? Why do you think more people are hearing fireworks in June in 2020 as opposed to 2019?