MISSOULA - Large fireworks are illegal within Missoula city limits but that doesn't mean the holiday will be without.
Fireworks are prohibited in city open space lands, on all U.S. Forest Service lands, within County parks and County managed recreation areas, all Fish, Wildlife and Parks fishing access sites, the entire Fort Missoula area including the new Fort Missoula regional park, and in the newly annexed areas on the west end of the garden city.
Extra patrols will be out this Fourth of July to enforce these laws. Both firefighters and police officers have the authority to issue citations and the fine can vary from $100 to $300 depending on whether or not it is a first or second offense.
However, the city is permitting small novelty fireworks like fireworks or pop-its are allowed. Professional public displayed are allowed by permit from the Missoula Fire Department chief and the only one in Missoula will be at the Southgate mall.
The Southgate mall has put on a Fourth of July fireworks display for over 30 years. This year's festivities will start at 6 p.m. There will be live music, local food trucks, a beer garden, a giant sandbox, a bounce house, and more.
"Bring your lawn chair, your blankets, leave your fireworks at home, leave your alcohol, leave your dogs and bring your good attitude," said Lauren Poppen, Southgate mall marketing director.
Fireworks will start at 10:30 p.m. and end at about 11 p.m. There will also be the Historical Museum of Fort Missoula's celebration that starts at 8 a.m. and a Downtown ToNight celebration at Caras Park from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.