Columbus to allow fireworks during Diwali

Columbus City Council gave its first approval last night to a proposal to legalize the use of fireworks in the city during the Hindu festival of Diwali.

City Attorney Alex Whitted said that the revision would also bring the city fireworks ordinance into line with current state law.

Whitted said that last year, the City Council allowed exceptions to the law so that traditional fireworks could be set off during the Hindu festival. This change would incorporate that permanently into the city’s code.

The ordinance change would allow fireworks between 6 and 10 in the evenings on the day before, the day of and the day after Diwali. Diwali falls in October or November each year.

Representatives of the local Hindu community and local fireworks stores have asked for the ordinance change.

The ordinance change would also clarify that fireworks can not be set off after midnight on July 4th or Dec. 31st, in line with state law. It would allow fireworks from 10 in the morning until midnight on the Fourth of July and New Years Eve. In the five days leading up to the Fourth of July and the five days after, fireworks would be allowed from 5 in the evening until 11, or until two hours after sunset, whichever comes first.

The change passed unanimously and will come back to the Council for its final approval.