Will Delaware City Vote for Silent Fireworks Next Fourth of July?

PETA Urges Lewes Mayor, City Council to Swap Ear-Splitting Fireworks for Dazzling Silent Displays to Help Animals

For Immediate Release:
September 11, 2017

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Dover, Del. – The mayor of Lewes, Delaware, will meet today with city council members to vote on moving forward with a Fourth of July fireworks show next summer—and PETA has sent the mayor a letter asking that the city feature quiet fireworks, light- and video-based shows, holographic laser mapping, or other high-tech, color-rich displays instead of the traditional ear-splitting explosions.

In its letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that animal shelters see a spike in the number of lost dogs following loud fireworks displays and that the noise can also scare wildlife onto roads, where they’re likely to be injured or killed by vehicles. The stress isn’t limited to animals, either: Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can find the noise of the explosives disturbing.

“Rich in color and choreography, silent fireworks deliver all the flash without the fright,” says PETA Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging Lewes officials to approve a stunning silent fireworks display for 2018 that appeals to everyone, including wildlife, companion animals, and other vulnerable members of our society.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—recently prompted Boston and Honolulu to join the several European cities that have already implemented silent fireworks. And after hearing from PETA this year, officials in Costa Mesa, California, planned a silent fireworks display for July 4 that was hugely successful.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Lewes Mayor Theodore W. Becker follows.

September 11, 2017

The Honorable Theodore W. Becker

Mayor of Lewes

Dear Mayor Becker,

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 hundreds across Delaware, in response to the vote on Fourth of July fireworks at today’s meeting and with a proposal that I hope will spark your interest: Use only silent fireworks for next year’s Independence Day celebration in order to create a stress-free environment for Lewes’ human and animal residents, or opt instead for only a holographic laser display or a video-based show.

Silent fireworks and laser shows offer stress-free celebrations for noise-sensitive animals, children, veterans, and elderly people. During traditional fireworks displays, many dogs panic and become frantic as they try to escape the loud noise, and some have been known to jump through glass windows or over fences, ending up becoming lost or being seriously hurt or even killed. Loud fireworks displays can also scare wildlife onto roads, where they’re at risk of being hit or killed by vehicles. The stress caused by these displays is not limited to animals: Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are sensitive to and can be deeply disturbed by the noise of the explosives.

Silent fireworks are richer in color effects and visual choreography than conventional fireworks and provide all the same fanfare and celebration without any of the frightening noise. This New Year’s, you might also consider exploring the use of cutting-edge light- and video-based shows, drones, and holographic laser mapping. When paired with programmed music, these forms of visual artistry are just as exciting as traditional fireworks, are safer, and produce virtually no pollution. In fact, accomplished VJ Vello Virkhaus was quoted in LA Weekly as saying, “Some type of dimensional, spatial lighting, a laser- and video-based show, could be just as immersive as fireworks and not as destructive—while producing less waste. … We don’t need to blow things up to celebrate.”

By allowing only silent fireworks or laser- and video-based shows, you’d deliver all the traditional Fourth of July revelry without the frightening noise, improving the quality of life for all living beings around Lewes. We’d be happy to put you in touch with Costa Mesa City Council Member John Stephens, who arranged for a silent fireworks show to be held in his city this year after hearing from PETA. Thank you for your consideration.


Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

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