Every July, things get a little crazy in Crouch.
Thousands of people pour into the Boise County mountain town of fewer than 200 to celebrate the Fourth of July. It’s about an hour’s drive north of Boise.
Images of holiday revelers shooting off personal fireworks in the city have been immortalized in numerous videos online. One drew national attention: The New York Post last year recut footage shot by filmmaker Adam Nawrot and posted it under the headline, “A ‘redneck’ 4th of July that kind of makes you proud to be American.” (Nawrot apparently objected to the way the Post treated the video, telling Boise State Public Radio he found it “disgusting.”)
“In the last few years, people aren’t coming up here to spend money. They’re coming up here to blow [expletive] up,” said Diane Caughlin, president of the Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce. She noted visitors shooting off fireworks have damaged local property and trashed the place. “It seems like they don’t have any respect for our town.”
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Crouch city leaders and downtown property owners have decided it can’t happen again. In recent months, the City Council voted to ban fireworks in the city on the Fourth of July. Those caught violating the ban will be cited with an infraction and fined $100, not including court costs and fees.
Soon, signs warning people that it’s illegal to shoot off fireworks in the town will go up, Caughlin said.
She said several different law enforcement entities will enforce the ban, including the Boise County Sheriff’s Office and private security that will be hired for the day.
Members of the Chamber of Commerce met in March to decide whether they needed to cancel all of their holiday festivities. They voted to continue their annual events; the schedule this year includes a pancake breakfast from 8-11 a.m. and a parade at 6 p.m.
New this year is a Soap Box Derby, which will be 7-9 p.m. The derby will run through the area where people used to gather to shoot off fireworks.
“We’re trying to make it impossible for people to fire off fireworks in downtown Crouch,” Caughlin said.
A professional fireworks show will begin at around 10 p.m. at Weilmunster Park.