With the Fourth of July holiday fast approaching, the City of Dubuque issued a reminder via Facebook regarding their fireworks ordinance. While you might see fireworks for sale around Dubuque, most are in fact illegal to use within city limits.

Indeed, Dubuque bans the use of consumer fireworks in the city, per the "Fireworks Ordinance" page on their website. The City Council made the decision all the way back in 2017 following Iowa state legislation legalizing the sale and use of fireworks.

Are Any Fireworks OK to Use in Dubuque?:

A select few fireworks are allowed to be used in Dubuque. They are snaps, snakes, and sparklers. That's the list right there.

Here are some of the fireworks illegal to use within Dubuque city limits:

  • Skyrockets
  • Bottle rockets
  • Roman candles
  • Mortars
  • M100s
  • M80s
  • Cherry bombs
  • Firecrackers

Use of any these of fireworks without a permit is illegal, and subject to a pretty heavy fine.

Photo Credit: City of Dubuque
Photo Credit: City of Dubuque

What's the Penalty for Lighting Off Fireworks in Dubuque?:

Be warned that use of any of the prohibited fireworks listed above could result in you paying a lofty fine, per the "Fireworks Ordinance" tab on the City's website:

Any violation of the city’s ordinance limiting or prohibiting fireworks constitutes a simple misdemeanor with a fine no less than $250. Residents who wish to report illegal fireworks use should call the non-emergency dispatch number at 563-589-4415. For additional information on selling fireworks in Dubuque, please contact Dubuque Fire Marshal at 563-589-4161 or email.

Why Did Dubuque Buck Iowa State Law?:

Photo Credit: Yukimasa Hirota/amanaimagesRF, Getty Stock
Photo Credit: Yukimasa Hirota/amanaimagesRF, Getty Stock

You might be wondering why the City of Dubuque decided to prohibit the use of fireworks despite the state of Iowa ruling to allow. Iowa legislation signed into law the legalized sale and use of fireworks during select dates throughout the year, but also gave a city or county the choice to restrict or prohibit the use of them:

Dubuque’s continued prohibition follows a recommendation from Dubuque Chief of Police Mark Dalsing and Dubuque Fire Chief Rick Steines that the City continue its existing prohibition on the use of consumer fireworks out of concern for noise, fire, and injury. Residents may sell fireworks if they obtain the appropriate sales permits through the State of Iowa. - Dubuque's Fireworks Ordinance

Consider the Weather Too:

There's one other thing to consider, this year in particular. We're in the midst of an abnormally dry June, with little rainfall over the last month, which makes fireworks (or burning of any kind) considerably dangerous.

For the City of Dubuque's full Fireworks Ordinance, visit their website.

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