Surprise late-night fireworks show on Lake Maxinkuckee unwelcome to some

Jeff Kenney
Citizen editor

A professional-sized fireworks show near the south shore of Lake Maxinkuckee at Culver very early Sunday left the community a-buzz with reaction to the loud explosions between midnight and 1 a.m. early, and many residents' responses were not positive.

A post to the Culver Citizen's Facebook wall around the time the show ended early Sunday by Culver area resident Nicky Dilts began a lengthy chain of commentary from locals, many of whom complained that starting the fireworks show at that hour was inconsiderate.

Dilts' concern was more specific, since her husband Joe is a veteran of two tours of Iraq and was rattled by the noise of the fireworks, after being awakened by the noise. The Dilts' called the Marshall County Sheriff's office, who responded that the show was legal and was handled by permit issued by the State of Indiana.

Joe Dilts says he has "no issues with that, but...midnight to almost 1 a.m. is a little much. If it was New Years' Eve I could see a reason for the timing. I thought there was a state law or county law about load noise after a certain time at night."

A representative of the Marshall County Sheriff's office confirmed to The Culver Citizen on Monday morning that the call did come in early Sunday, and that the caller was told a permit was on file for the fireworks show.

Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security representative Amber Kent, however, responded to a Citizen query Monday afternoon that no permit was on file with the IDHS -- which handles fireworks permitting -- for a professional display during the time period in question.

Kent did note that consumer fireworks, which are regulated separately from professional displays, do not require a permit for a display.

"During the bulk of the year (outside of certain holidays) state law states that firework displays should end by 11 p.m.," said Kent. "Local ordinance can limit that further...if citizens have a concern about fireworks, or believe that they are being used out of allowed times, these issues are enforced at a local level by area law enforcement."

The location of the fireworks display put it outside the jurisdiction of the town of Culver's police force and instead into that of the Marshall County Sheriff's Department. Culver town marshal Wayne Bean affirmed his department has no involvement in fireworks permitting in general or this situation in particular.

No further information was available from local or county law enforcement as of press time.