Colorado Rapids’ Canceled Fireworks Show ‘Sparks’ PETA Proposal: For Wildlife’s Sake, Make It Permanent!

Soccer Team Urged to Protect Deer, Birds, and Other Wildlife by Ending Fireworks Displays Near National Wildlife Refuge

For Immediate Release:
August 12, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Commerce City, Colo.

The Colorado Rapids’ planned fireworks show was canceled earlier this month when authorities shut down the launch site, and today, PETA sent a letter to the soccer team’s owner urging him to protect animals in the nearby Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge by refraining from hosting any future loud fireworks displays. Instead, PETA suggests putting on safe and silent drone shows that are kind to everybody, wildlife and humans alike.

“Traditional fireworks sound just like a war to panicked animals, and they’ve been known to flee onto roads, abandon their nests, and more,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is urging the Colorado Rapids to assist wildlife who live in the area by sidelining its dangerous fireworks shows.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

PETA’s letter to Colorado Rapids owner E. Stanley Kroenke follows.

August 12, 2019

E. Stanley Kroenke
Colorado Rapids

Dear Mr. Kroenke,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands in Colorado, to thank you for not rescheduling the Rapids’ fireworks show that was canceled earlier this month after the launch site was closed down by authorities. Please, will you consider canceling all plans for future fireworks displays to protect the wildlife in and around the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge?

As you may know, loud fireworks displays cause wild animals a great deal of stress, anxiety, and fear. Deer, especially, panic and can flee onto roads, where they risk being involved in traffic accidents. Startled birds have abandoned their nests and crashed into homes, windows, and each other. In one instance, more than 5,000 dead or dying red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky after a display in Beebe, Arkansas. And scientists studying waterfowl discovered that in response to fireworks shows, the birds will fly en masse to dangerously high altitudes and stay aloft for as long as 45 minutes, leaving them exhausted and vulnerable.

Animal shelters and wildlife rescues report a large increase in the number of animals they receive after July 4, all directly related to the loud noise of fireworks displays. Companion animals are often terrified and try to escape, and some dogs even jump through glass windows or hang themselves from fences. Many end up lost, seriously hurt, or killed.

In place of fireworks, your team could explore featuring drone shows—which are far safer and produce virtually no air pollution. They are growing in popularity and have been used at Disney World’s Starbright Holidays show, the New Year’s Eve celebration over Sydney Harbour, and the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as well as at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, and in Carefree, Arizona, among other places.

Rapids fans have proved that they can have a great time without fireworks displays. We hope you’ll eliminate plans for all future fireworks shows to benefit all neighboring animals, the elderly, children, veterans, and all other noise-sensitive individuals. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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