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Armstrong council says thanks, but no thanks to IPE fireworks

The Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition is celebrating it's 100th anniversary this year, but they fireworks won't be a part of it.
Image Credit: Interior Provincial Exhibition
August 17, 2013 - 3:23 PM

VERNON - It's the 100th anniversary of the Interior Provincial Exhibition in Armstrong this year, so it's going to be a big celebration.

And what says celebration better than fireworks? A Kelowna company was thinking just that when it approached the IPE organizers with a pitch to light off the celestial display during the exhibition next month.

But Black Match Pyrotechnics needed Armstrong city council's approval and the fire department's blessing to proceed.

They didn't get it.

"It's just a safety thing," Armstrong mayor Chris Pieper said. He's worried about the wildfire danger.

"The very dry season we're having right now is a concern. There's a complete fire ban in the North Okanagan. It might be different by fair time but you've got to make a decision now."

The mayor also cites congestion as a concern.

Armstrong has a population of about 5,000, but that number swells to over 150,000 during the IPE. There's just too much congestion to hold a fireworks display safely, according to Pieper.

"If one animal gets spooked because of the fireworks we could have chaos," the mayor said. "A thunderstorm spooks them."

"It's a lot easier to be careful than to be sorry afterwards."

Pieper said he and council love fireworks, adding everybody enjoys the fireworks the Armstrong Fire Department sets off at Halloween. "It's in October. There isn't the congestion. The whole fair grounds area is cordoned off for safety's sake."

To contact the reporter for this story email, or call 250-309-5230.

Fireworks like these won't be part of the IPE in Armstrong despite a pitch from the Kelowna company.
Fireworks like these won't be part of the IPE in Armstrong despite a pitch from the Kelowna company.
Image Credit: Flickr
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
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