Rec committee stepping back from fireworks display

The Picton Recreation committee is excited to once again contribute to Picton’s 2020 Canada Day Celebration!

We’re still in the planning phase, working with other members of the Canada Day Committee to make sure it is spectacular with events for all ages: music, activities, vendors, performances and more. We’re working with the Wellington Recreation Committee to avoid repetition and competition and, instead, to make sure that both of our towns are offering a full array of fun, complementary events to make this year the best yet.

You might have heard; we’re stepping back from our sponsorship of a fireworks show here in Picton and will instead focus our resources on the Picton Main St. Celebration. We did not make this decision lightly. We did our research and deliberated for months. Fireworks are beautiful and most of us enjoy them, but aside from the tremendous cost —last year’s 15-minute display was $6500– we are finding out more and more about the ominous, irreversible effects they have on our environment.

One of the most compelling reasons for our decision is the effect fireworks have on companion animals and wildlife. Recall Noah, the dog who was lost in South Marysburgh last summer, bolted in reaction to fireworks. Humane society reports and Facebook lost dog pages show this is not an isolated incident. The sound and light are disorienting and traumatic for all animals. The harm is particularly acute for flying birds and mammals including endangered species that call Marsh Creek their home especially during nesting season.

Fireworks create an abundance of pollutants: particulates, airborne chemicals, and colourants that pollute our soil and eventually run in to Marsh Creek and out into Picton Bay. The long-term environmental impact of one fifteen-minute fireworks display, not to mention the resulting bags and bags of litter and debris left behind by spectators, is significant.

We have the power to make a small contribution to the health of our beautiful County. We are choosing to make a commitment in keeping with the County’s Declaration of Climate Emergency and also in keeping with the commitments that many communities around the globe are choosing to make to conserve and protect our diverse wildlife and habitat.

We’re stewards of the land —all of us— but we also love a great party. We can do both. We’re always looking for more hands-on deck. If you would like to be an active volunteer for the Picton Canada Day celebrations, please email the Picton Canada Day Committee at

Respectfully submitted,

Debbie Rankin

Picton Recreation Committee