Niagara Falls Tourism Pushed to End Months-Long Fireworks Frightfest

For Immediate Release:
April 26, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Following reports that Niagara Falls Tourism is planning 144 nights of fireworks from May into October, PETA sent a letter this morning to its president and CEO, Janice Thomson, urging her to swap the disruptive display for a drone or laser light show—which is kind to wildlife, animal companions, and vulnerable humans, including those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“These nightly booms and blasts would scare wildlife out of their nests, spew toxic particles, drive terrified dogs out of their yards, and send veterans back to the worst days of war,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is urging Niagara Falls Tourism to call off this months-long bombardment and launch a show that’s fun, not frightening.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Thomson follows.

April 26, 2022

Janice Thomson

President and CEO

Niagara Falls Tourism

Dear Ms. Thomson:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including many thousands across Ontario—in response to the news that the Falls Fireworks Series will be returning for 144 consecutive days beginning next month. We strongly urge you to cancel this months-long bombardment and switch to alternatives that everyone can enjoy—such as drone or laser shows, which would allow noise-sensitive wildlife, domestic animals, children, veterans, and elderly people to experience a quieter, cleaner, and less stressful summer.

As you know, loud fireworks displays cause a great deal of stress, anxiety, and fear in wild animals and others. 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 during a fireworks display in Beebe, Arkansas. And scientists studying waterfowl discovered that in reaction to fireworks shows, the birds fly en masse to dangerously high altitudes and stay aloft for as long as 45 minutes, leaving them exhausted and vulnerable. Fireworks also produce smoke and dust laden with toxic particles that are harmful to the respiratory systems of humans and other animals.

Traditional fireworks sound like an all-out war to dogs and cats—and their use has devastating consequences. Terrified dogs climb or dig their way out of fenced-in yards as they frantically try to escape the chaos, resulting in increased stray-animal intakes at shelters, which further strains community resources. Many arrive with bloody paws or broken bones, some are never reunited with their families, and others are doomed to a worse fate. In addition, veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can be deeply disturbed by the noise of the explosives and the smell of gunpowder.

Niagara Falls already has so much to offer. Please consider canceling this fireworks series and instead hosting drone or laser shows—which are safer, produce virtually no air pollution, and are growing in popularity. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk


cc:       David Adames, CEO, Niagara Parks Commission

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