Fireworks Banned in Freedom – Except When the Red Sox Win World Series

Freedom — March 9, 2010 – A fireworks ban was approved by Freedom voters at town meeting Tuesday, but will not apply to Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve or Red Sox World Series celebrations.

On those occasions, citizens will still be allowed to fire off state-legal fireworks.

The police chief said the fireworks ban is in reaction to vacationers who have been causing a racket on Ossipee Lake.

“They just come up on the weekends, even in September, and blow them off like crazy,” chief Josh Shackford said. “Enough is enough.”

Shackford said he was fine with the amendment allowing fireworks on major holidays and for Red Sox World Series celebrations.

The all-day town meeting was held in the elementary school to absorb expected heavy attendance. The principal said it allowed curious students to watch their government in action and pepper teachers with questions.

“It was so nice having it here because we could do that,” principal Corrinne Rocco said.


  1. Buford Pusser 14 years ago March 9, 2010

    Cowardly to hold a “town meeting” when most of your taxpayers are out of state.

    Good luck paying for your schools, fire department, roads and police if you run off your tax base.

    Or maybe you can tax the local meth dealers.

  2. freedom resident 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    Not sure what Buford is talking about. We who live in other parts of NH or out of state never have a say. We get the “shorefront” tax benefit while those who passed it gave themselves a tax break. By the way what happens if our Patriots or Celtics win another banner? Mass arrests in Freedom?

  3. Tom 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    Of course the fireworks in Ossipee will be quiet right? This has to be one of the dumbest laws to be passed in a long time. I’d bet the majority of those voting don’t have any direct issues with excessive fireworks use in Freedom.

    Anyone else see any irony with this town passing this law.

  4. mc 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    I really would of like to have known about this town meeting so I could of attended. I’m glad you have no problems with the waterfront taxes we summer residences pay but now i cant even enjoy a few fireworks on my vacation?? Get Real. Whoever called this meeting behind the backs of the summer residences is a coward, and don’t think for a second that this will deter me from my August, June , and July Fireworks Spectacular Display.
    New NH saying should be LIVE FREE OR TRY. Seriously guys.

  5. Ray Marshall 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    What is wrong in this town. Just because the chief doesn’t like fireworks, the town sheep follow his lead? You townies better understand who pays most of the taxes in this town!

  6. Steve ,Broadbay Ossipee 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    I can understand both sides of this issue on fireworks. Like the majority of the shorefront owners i’m an out of towner. So, I have no say.From what I see, and what I hear, these two towns will not allow the people who pay approximatelly 2/3 of the taxes, to paticipate in decisions. What ever happened to the No Taxation Without Representation ? The Towns have the ability to allow all the taxpayers a vote. If there is a group of people from out of town or state that want to challenge our nonrepresentation make yourself known.

  7. Freedom taxpayer 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    Thank-you so much Chief Shackford…….I am on the big lake and love to watch the amature fireworks across the lake, but I will not miss them. Our neighbors have 1/4 stick (cannon’s??) and use them without regard of their surroundings or their environment. Rocket fireworks are used with reckless abandon and you can watch them shoot out into the sky right towards trees and homes. I will testify that this is what is happening right beside our property. Yes, we do have fire insurance but if those trees catch a spark they can not be replaced. I hope everyone enjoys the 4th and contributes their firework money to the cause, then we can safely celebrate with all of our neighbors. Yes, I know Freedom town police and fire are watching our property, even when the summer ends. That’s why I don’t moan and groan too much when decisions are made “off” season. All of you that feel you been treated wrongly by this decision should have Freedom send you notices as to what will be coming up at town meetings. I am sure this would help you attend all meetings that are important to you and what you are interested in. Does anyone like listening to whippoorwills and owls anymore….perhaps stargazing???

  8. Dina 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    Your kidding me!

  9. Tom 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    Steve, I am interested. How can I contact you?

  10. Chris 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    Things aren’t really free in Freedom. The town missed out on a funding opportunity to pay for the new municipal buildings – have those who want to set off fireworks pay a $25 fee for such a privilege.

  11. Dianne 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    Town of Freedom
    I live on Broad Bay in Ossipee. I look forward to the Saturday night fireworks. When we have company here it is fun to have them see the fireworks when it is not 4th of July. And if the Pat’s and Celtics win a series I hope everyone sets some off. I am really going to miss those fireworks. They only last about 10/15 min. Think we have too many uptight people around here…where are the fun lovers who enjoy the splendor of fireworks…oh and I am 67 and not an old crank!

  12. Chris 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    Well said, Dianne!

  13. greg 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    I just can’t believe this crap,but I’m not suprised. The chief of police blames fireworks celebrations on vacationers “that come up here and cause the problem”. That statement smacks of a deep rooted discrimination toward seasonal families. Please don’t try to tell me that the chosen few home grown have never lit a match to a firecracker. How will it be inforced by a police dept that’s off duty at midnite? Besides what if I’m a yankees fan?

  14. Nick 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    We residents do know who pays most of the taxes in towns such as ours, and we are grateful for that. This issue is not a stab against the “out of towners”. This is not ungrateful locals vs. the weekend group. This is an issue of irresponsible people setting off fireworks in the middle of a pine grove when the fire danger is high. This is an issue about having firetrucks roll multiple times to respond to the misuse of fireworks. This is an issue of good responsible people vs. the few irresponsible. The few have spoiled it for the many. I for one am sick and tired of having to stay up till 3am to make sure a fire is not going to break out and burn down my house because the guys next door decided it would be a hoot to get loaded up and shoot fireballs into a ticket of scrub oaks.

  15. gordon taylor 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    I have lakefront and aware I pay more than my share of taxes to these ridiculous locals. I like the fireworks and have always thought they were fun. The chief is obviously biased and considers his pay base a bunch of idiots. Eventually these dumb governments will tax themselves out of existence and they can rot in their stupid hamlets with no money. I get no services, live on dirt road and enjoy the lake. To all that consider themselves town fathers, you need to think this through.

  16. Sandra 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    To mc…..Town Meeting occurs in March EVERY year…it’s not a SECRET meeting, it’s open to ALL. If you wish to be aware of all the warrant articles(like this one) I suggest you make more of an effort to keep informed and, maybe, even attend next year, especially if you would like to have a voice on a particular subject.

  17. M Story 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    I am also an “out of towner”, have a place on Broadbay and have also taken the time to learn about Town Meetings that I have personal interest in. I suggest a reasonable solution to all the complainers would be to blow up all the fireworks you want to at your primary residents? And if your local community doesn’t allow it, spend your energy changing your laws and less time insulting your neighbors in a cummunity you chose not to live in?

    The people that have chosen to be permanent residents have the right to vote, we don’t.
    It seems to be a simple rule that has always been there?
    I usually don’t agree with the way the town’s people do vote on the issues but I do like my neighbors, I can appreciate the work the town does, that I chose not to do and enjoy being in Freedom.
    If Fireworks are so important to your life in Freedom that you feel you now have the right to insult the people around you, maybe it’s time to sell the second home and find a place with your type of people?

    I have enjoyed setting off fireworks in Freedom in the past but it’s not the reason I go there and they won’t be missed enough to insult my neighbors over.

    I understand both side of the issue but Freedom has only taken away the rights of the permenent residents to blow up fireworks. “Out of Towners”, like myself, can still blow up all the fireworks when ever I want to, as long as I am not in Freedom which is my choice.

  18. greg 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    Please!, If this isn’t an issue with out of towners, why was it mentioned. If neighbors have a problem with each other why can’t they discuss it. And as far as the “Live free or die” slogan goes maybe we should rethink it.

  19. Richard Phillips 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    Okay I am old crank of 68. Lived at the Mountview Beach for 24 years with the fireworks on the fourth right in front of my house. But once a year was quite enough, Shackford is right. Is he any relation to the school teacher? Also I was Town Meeting Moderator for a few years in the 70’s. Non-residents could not vote and needed consent of the meeting to speak. We only had 500 or 600 residents then and every resident who wanted to speak had the opportunity to do so. we didn’t spend money we didn’t have and didn’t untake a project just because we could get Federal Funds. Unlike folks these days we understood that with grants came strings. Before establishing residence in the sixties my family enjoyed summers on Broad or Berry Bay from the 1920’s. No sense looking back.Have fun..

  20. John 14 years ago March 10, 2010

    Freedom made a heroic move to limit fireworks. Fireworks are dangerous, childish and harmful to wildlife. We enjoyed watching the bald eagle that fished from the tall pine on the island in Leavitt Bay for months. She left promptly when the fireworks started on Memorial Day last spring. Loons nesting on the limited undeveloped shoreline panicked when the fireworks started, leaving their nest unprotected at night. And I’m tired of cleaning up all the debris that washes ashore from those noisy, smelly, polluting firecrackers after all the self-indulgent revelers go home.

    Chief Shackford has the right and the obligation to protect all the property and residents of Freedom from the careless disregard for fire safety. As an out-of-town summer resident, I applaud him for his courage against the pressure from “summer taxpayers” that certainly must have entered into the discussion. That’s the kind of leadership I don’t mind paying taxes for. It would be great if Chief Shackford could convince the other towns around the Lake network to do the same.

  21. mc 14 years ago March 11, 2010

    To Sandra,
    You can be sure I will be at every meeting from now on, even if it means taking work off and driving for two hours. Thinking of running for selectman next time a spot opens up………

  22. Don MacLeod 14 years ago March 11, 2010

    On the plus side, at least we’re now relieved of the protracted and costly display exchange with our fireworks nemesis on the other side of the bay. Frankly, the novelty of fireworks was kind of worn-out anyway.

  23. greg 14 years ago March 11, 2010

    O.K. I give up! I’m putting my stash of fireworks away & saving them for the glorious event when Obama, Pelosie,and the rest of that gang get thrown out. Chief Shackford can put me in irons if he must, but it’ll be worth it to fill the sky with rockets red glare.
    How’s the hope’ie, change’ie thing doing for ya?

  24. Buford Pusser 14 years ago March 12, 2010

    Wow, what a great response from the primary taxpayers!

    Don’t fret. The slacker-class can take their jealous a$$es down the road in 2012. Then the roman candles are on me!

  25. Buford Pusser 14 years ago March 12, 2010

    p.s.- More of us need to retire on the lake and take over the government. Food for thought.

  26. freedom resident 14 years ago March 12, 2010


    You make a great point. The problem is that the clowns downtown have raised the shorefront taxes so hight that many people on fixed incomes can’t afford waterfront. Of course they took good care of themselves by lowering their taxes. That has to be illegal. Maybe the route is to ask the Attorney General’s Office to look into their behavior? Don’t get to upset with Shackford’s comment, he’s brainless anyway.

  27. Tom 14 years ago March 12, 2010

    Hey Buford, go back to posting in the Herald. FYI, it is illegal to ingnite fireworks in the State of NH. It is also idiotic to ignite fireworks in a pine forest. The most frightnening thought however is the thought of some dope like yourself retiring here in Freedom. Oh yeah, freedom resident, if your going to call the police chief brainless why not sign your name to your post.

  28. Buford Pusser 14 years ago March 12, 2010

    1) Illegal is illegal, and nothing illegal should be supported anywhere.

    2) I neither read nor post on the Globe or Herald sites.

    3) Anyone else remember the glorious 1980s when an independent auditor was brought in to re-assess NH property values?

    2 things happened in Ossipee:
    – the summer people stopped getting screwed and their taxes dropped precipitously
    – downtown Ossipee was plastered with FOR SALE signs as the locals had to move out when faced with paying their fair share

  29. Buford Pusser 14 years ago March 12, 2010

    p.s.- Tom, some of us don’t use our real names because we’re afraid that the local meth-mouths will break our windows when we’re home working to pay for the summer houses whose taxes pay for your children’s education.

  30. freedom resident 14 years ago March 12, 2010

    Tom who?

    By the way I believe that prior town tax incompetence happened with the condo’s on Berry Bay. I think Freedom was forced to fairly access all property after they unfairly accessed each condo. Time for a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office.

    Look, one of the most significant issues here is Shackford’s blaming of the “vacationers”. He should appologize for that statement and admit there are plenty of “townies” who are the problems as well. Show some respect and you get some respect.

  31. Don MacLeod 14 years ago March 13, 2010

    Just a thought…

    The Conway Daily Sun, like most local papers, is edited to the temperament of its subscribers. A better reporter might have challenged the nuisance justification and source used to define enough. How many complaint calls were there? Was there a related fire or accident? How much floating trash was collected? Maybe the tone of the article just wasn’t meant for the people who read it here? Boy, we’ve got some wounds and hard feelings…but it is tough being unloved. 8?}

  32. Dianne 14 years ago March 18, 2010

    How did we get so far off he topic of fireworks and in to mudsling? Oh and Greg that hopie, changie thing is going to work just fine…Please keep Sarah Palin out of a fireworks discussion. Bet she loves them along with wolf killing. ….But I digress. I live here, on Broad Bay, pay big taxes, (to Ossipee) and have used the services. And the police, fire and Medstar have been great. It appears Freedom is pretty good too and for services, doesn’t discriminate between summer and locals. So guess the only problem is some like Fireworks and some don’t. To the fireworks people opposite Spindle Point, near the channel…I will miss your Saturday night fireworks. I really enjoyed them. Now where does this put Camp Huckin’s? Like that set of fireworks too!

  33. Rick 14 years ago March 23, 2010

    I am a relatively new part timer and like Freedom very much. I’ve actual got some other relatives who have bout in Freedom as well. Plus there are more coming.

    I’m not happy with this fireworks ruling however and not because I don’t think it has merit, but because it was done in a way that excluded an important voice from the decision making process, the voice of most of the part timer owners who have every bit as much right to be heard as anyone living in the town full time.

    I have no problem with decisions being made, but I do question decisions that are made without the propor level of input, discussion and consent from all interested parties.

    Clearly this whole thing needs to be re-visited. Public notices need to go out to all residents, full and part time, listing a hearing date at least one month out and a full agenda. That way when the final decision is made it can be seen as thought out and credible by all.

    Let’s not start breaking down into camps of those who live in the area full time vs. those who don’t. That’s childish and very anti productive and surely will lead to nothing good.

    Let’s do the right thing and demand this whole issue be handled as it should have been in the first place, openly and honestly, with adequate notice to all who may want to attend and/or participate in the decision making process.


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