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Nightly fireworks in Andover spark complaints on social media about noise at bedtime

Tips for shooting great fireworks photos

Wichita Eagle photographers Jaime Green and Travis Heying discuss and demonstrate how to successfully shoot good fireworks photos for the Fourth of July.
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Wichita Eagle photographers Jaime Green and Travis Heying discuss and demonstrate how to successfully shoot good fireworks photos for the Fourth of July.

Fireworks are expected to explode in the sky of Andover’s Central Park every night this week, and some people are not excited.

“This is ridiculous. Some people have to work tomorrow,” Jeanette Kay Cole commented on a Monday night Facebook post by the City of Andover.

“Wish we had been told earlier and I think they should stop earlier it’s a school night,” Rose Mayginnes said in a comment.

The fireworks are a part of the National Fireworks Association annual convention in Wichita and Andover this week.

A “Disney-style fireworks” show choreographed to music and expected to last longer than 20 minutes is schedule for 8 p.m. Friday, Katie Cork, event director for the City of Andover, told The Eagle’s Keeper of the Plans.

But convention attendees can shoot off fireworks from dusk until 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, the Andover Police Department said in a Facebook post. More than 900 members from around the world are attending the event, which includes nightly firework product demonstrations in Central Park.

“This is the time when vendors get to show off their new products and wholesalers/distributors can decide if they want to add them to their purchase orders,” police said in the post. “The products being demonstrated will range from the small fountains set on the ground, to the larger aerial fireworks.”

“It’s awful if you have little ones or anyone trying to sleep,” Holly Graves commented on the post.

Andover’s website states that Wichita and Andover were chosen for this year’s event because of its centralized geographic location.

“The fireworks demonstrations need to be done in an area with less population density than a metro area,” the website states. “Andover’s Central Park was a natural choice. It is our hope that by hosting this portion of this international convention, it will bring additional tourism dollars into Andover.”

Nobody spoke against the nightly firework demonstrations when they were approved at a city council meeting about a month ago, Andover Mayor Ben Lawrence said in an email. He said the city used its monthly sewer bill mailing insert, cable channel 7, Twitter and Facebook to inform residents before the convention.

The city has received about 50 complaints from within the city and outside city limits about noise and the time of the firework demonstrations, Lawrence said.

“Andover has been known as having a fondness to fireworks for years,” Lawrence said. “While there may be some who are bothered by the noise, there are many more who have and will be enjoying these demonstrations Monday through Thursday. The tradeoff is that Andover will now have available to its citizens one of the biggest and best fireworks show in the nation locally here this Friday.”

The city council is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Lawrence said he expects some noise complaints at the meeting, but “the nightly demonstrations will continue as planned.”

“I think it is great an event like this chose Andover for their demonstrations! We enjoyed the fireworks last night and can’t wait for the show Friday!!” Jill Hedger said in a comment on the police department’s post.

The city has a plan to help residents whose dogs go missing during the firework demonstrations.

“We know fireworks can make animals anxious,” the city’s website states. “If by chance Fido runs away, send his picture to the Andover Police Department on Facebook and they will post it. They are very successful at reconnecting pets with their owners.”

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