Poulsbo City Council considers canceling July 3 fireworks display

Date would mark one-year anniversary of police shooting that killed Stonechild Chiefstick

At a March 4 meeting of the Poulsbo City Council, the topic of canceling this year’s July 3 fireworks show was discussed by councilmembers.

This upcoming July 3 will mark the one-year anniversary of the fatal police shooting of Stonechild Chiefstick. In a memo sent to her fellow councilmembers, Connie Lord stated her support of canceling the annual occasion just for 2020 out of respect to Chiefstick’s family.

“I am urging my council colleagues to take up a policy discussion immediately,” Lord said. “This is to decide whether to hold the 2020 July 3 fireworks or to suspend it for this year. This will be the first year anniversary of the tragic July 3, 2019 event. I don’t want to risk being disrespectful to the affected family and friends. I’m not trying to throw cold water on a wonderful celebration, but I think this year, for a lot of reasons, we should suspend the event.”

“This is not something new to my mind, I’ve even been thinking about this before Christmas. It’s not a small thing to change the date, however, it’s not a small thing to not respect what happened nine months ago. We need to take all of this into account and I look forward to a conversation next week.”

Councilmember Jeff McGinty pointed to the fact the show was originally put on by the Navy at Keyport back in the 80s.

“They did it on the third because they didn’t want to compete with the other agencies,” McGinty said, explaining why the event is hosted on July 3 in Poulsbo. “I think there’s a lot more information to gain on this and what impacts would happen if we did various things.”

Councilmember Britt Livdahl also voiced her support for canceling this year’s July 3 fireworks show.

“It would be disrespectful to the family to hold the event on July 3. I don’t know how we could, in good conscience, celebrate that day.”

Poulsbo City Council will continue the conversation at next week’s meeting set for March 11.