Our first morning after arriving on the island, Duff the neighbor came over and asked if we had seen the fireworks across the bay. Of course, we were still on East Coast time then, so we hadn’t. The next evening I managed to stay up late enough so that I could watch them. At this distance they looked like tiny little sparkles and puffs of light. Apparently this is a nightly event on the Swinomish Reservation.
The Swinomish have several business endeavors on the reservation, located on the eastern side of Fidalgo Island. There’s a large salmon and crab fishing operation on the other side of the channel from La Conner, and the Swinomish Casino is just over the channel bridge. In addition to these, this time of year right next to the casino one can find the Salish Fireworks Stands.
Washington State’s fireworks laws are much, much stricter than those in South Carolina. You won’t find much of the fun stuff like bottle rockets and mortar shells. However, those laws don’t apply on the reservation. You can get just about anything you want. The only catch? You can only legally possess those fireworks on the reservation, so if you buy it, you’ve got to light it.
The result is that there are lots of fireworks launched from the reservation, and a few illegally from the islands.
With all of these stands concentrated in such a small area, there’s lots of competition between the stands. When I popped by to grab these shots as soon as I drove onto the lot there were shouts from just about every stand for me to come by and visit their stands. I’m sure they wouldn’t be happy with me just stopping by to take photos, so I snapped a few and kept going without getting out of the car.
Being an out-of-stater, I don’t think I’ll challenge the fireworks laws. However, it will seem weird not launching our own this year.