Dodgers try to prevent neighbors from blowing a fuse over Friday night fireworks

The Dodgers informed Solano Canyon residents this week that the team plans to resume firework shows at the end of about a dozen Friday night home games next season to help boost attendance. The fireworks were a hit with fans but not with Solano Canyon residents, whose complaints about crying children, blaring car alarms and barking dogs prompted the Dodgers to hold off on the fireworks this year. The Dodgers now claim that they could cut down on the noise by using different kinds of fireworks and launching the aerial bombs from different locations on the stadium property. Last night, about a dozen residents (pictured above) gathered outside a Solano Canyon Avenue bungalow to see and hear a fireworks test.

Dodger public affairs chief Howard Sunkin was on hand to direct the show and act as gunnery sergeant, ordering shells to be shot into the sky via walkie-talkie.  “Shoot off Number 33,”  Sunkin said into the walkie-talkie as residents waited to see and hear the explosions.  But, at least last night,  most of the fireworks could barely be heard or seen by the group.  Still, many folks who live in the neighborhood east of the stadium remained skeptical about the demonstration and the team’s intentions. “They do what ever they want,” said one person at last night’s show.

A final decision has not been as to whether to resume the Friday shows next season, Sunkin said. But if the team did go ahead with the displays, the stadium would stage four firework shows in the month of July – three on Friday night home games and a Fourth of July show.  Sunkin noted that the shows would likely be much shorter – only 7 minutes – than previous Friday night fireworks programs. “I’m going to try and take it down to five minutes,” Sunkin said before residents. He spoke about imposing a possible curfew on the shows but said that might be difficult to impose and explain to fans. Sunkin also spoke about signing a “deal sheet” with representatives of Solano Canyon to address concerns ranging from the shows to parking and traffic enforcement during the games.

An aid to Councilman Ed Reyes who was present during last night’s demonstration declined to say if the council office had taken a position on the Friday night shows.

One Solano Canyon resident who attended a Tuesday night meeting with the Dodgers said the group was disappointed to hear that the Dodgers were once again preparing to shoot off fireworks on Friday home games. “Fireworks are a double-edged situation,” said the resident by email.  “They do bring in more of a family atmosphere to Friday night games. People wait around for fireworks and that helps alleviate exit traffic. But fireworks every Friday night home game – about 14 – is disruptive to our community.”

Most of the residents last night were not happy to see the return of the Friday home game fireworks either.  But some expressed optimism that the Dodgers could help soften the blow on Solano Canyon. “I’m hopeful that it will be quiet,” said Jon Huck.

Buddy Carvey, a 12-year resident of Solano Canyon, had no such hope.  Carvey, who had to console his daughter and sedate his dogs during Dodger fireworks shows, said the team made similar promises in 2009 without any results.

* This post had been updated from previous versions with additional information.


  1. Fantastic news! As a local resident, I love watching the fireworks displays from my balcony. I hope a couple bad apples won’t ruin the fun for the rest of the community.

  2. Fireworks ten times a year at 10:30 on a Friday night? Doesn’t seem too egregious.

  3. My dogs hate them, last year was nice without them. I wouldn’t be sad if they didn’t come back. I also think fireworks are getting a raw deal. They used to be so exciting on the 4th. Now they are a dime a doz.

  4. We are concerned about our quality of life just as you are Jeff. This does not make us bad apples. If the fireworks were not so loud and disruptive I too would enjoy watching the pretty lights in the sky. But our exerience in 2009 was miserable for our children, our animals and others sensitive to very loud explosions that reverberate in the canyon. Let’s not start name calling because we disagree.

  5. Solano Residen, i think that Michael hit the nail on the head, but i agree, you don’t deserve to be called a bad apple.

    that being said, get over it!

  6. I assume most of the people who live in the canyon purchased their homes and/or started renting after Dodger Stadium was built. As much as those ten nights might be a nuisance, there also has to be some expectation that living close to the stadium will bring these sorts of noise issues.

    As with so much in life, sometimes all we can do is grin and bear it.

  7. Residents who live by a school should expect crowds of boisterous, noisy kids walking by in the afternoon. Residents who live by a high school should expect Friday Night Lights from football games. Residents who live by busy commercial areas like the Sunset Strip or Melrose or Sunset Junction etc. should expect traffic and bar noise. And residents who live by baseball stadiums should expect fireworks and cheers.

  8. Fireworks are ok on the 4th and also if the Dodgers win. Too bad they can’t invest the money in a championship team.

  9. Cabrona de La Loma

    We are one of a “few” communities by the Stadium and put up with fireworks, honking at midnight, loud engines, loud radios, public urination in addition to the druken fools in our streets. The other communities should suffer the same. I propose they move the fireworks every year so that each community can “get over it” too.

    Open up the Scott gate… after all, it was put there for a reason and they too live by a stadium! Lets take turns with the gates too, close the Scott gate one year and the next year close Solano’s.

  10. Solano, as a human community, existed well before Dodger Stadium. The Stadium is the newcomer, it could have chosen to build its house anywhere in LA , but it knowingly decided to settle in Chavez Ravine..i.e.. Solano Canyon. The Solano community is small and in many ways quite fragile…..and the Stadium knew this coming in. So this morality play continues to unfold, with each succeeding Dodger owner, and current Solano residents, picking up where their predecessors left off ….

    ….and please remember that just as the current Dodger ownership are the inheritors and trusted keepers of a historical baseball institution…the current residents of Solano who lay their roots, build their homes, and raise their children here, likewise inherited a well documented historical legacy of their own which they also seek to serve and to preserve….

  11. Jeff, you’re on a balcony. We’re in a canyon. That means you get to see the beautiful lights; we get disruptive, extremely loud noise – sometimes past midnight – bouncing off the canyon walls. Our dogs whimper and struggle to find a place to hide, our elders are awaken in the middle of their rest – All topped off with mystery residue on our gardens and thick smoke for us to breathe. It’s not all about you and your enjoyment.

    Michael, I’d like you to experience 14 nights of bombs during five months of giant fireworks over your house. Walk in our shoes before you decide what’s good for us.

    Bad Apples? We are Concerned Citizens taking care of our neighborhood and our neighbors. And, if any you lived in SC , you would be doing the exact same thing that we are: Expressing our concerns about anything that effects our own health, our children’s welfare, our elder’s peace and quiet, and our pets well-being. Shame on you for name-calling.

    Libertad. I’m a big baseball fan. I love the cheers. I love the fireworks on the 4th of July and the two other times they happened in the season. I expect traffic. I expect noise. I don’t expect to feel that I live in a war-torn country. Residents near the Hollywood Bowl – Do not tolerate fireworks after 10:30 PM. Residents near the Rose Bowl – do not tolerate drunken car loads of people throwing beer bottles out of their cars.

    I also love the sound of the kids from Solano Elementary. But, fireworks 14 nights in a five month period – I won’t accept. And, I don’t think you would either.

    And what do you all think would happen if we did nothing?

    Any private and profit making organization wouldn’t even consider ‘what is good for the community’ before they made a decision that would make them more of a profit.

    Do any of you Echo Park Residents remember the closing of the Scott Street Gate? That happened because the community complained.

    Maybe the Dodgers should open the gate – and discharge the fireworks on your side of the park. I don’t want this to be an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ – but, I would you think you all would be a hell of a lot more supportive.

  12. An open letter to the residents of Solano Canyon:

    In 1866, my great-great-grandfather, Francisco, Solano, a native of Costa Rica, purchased 86 acres in the Stone Quarry Hills. Francisco was a butcher, and his business, including a corral, was located in Sonora Town, just north of the Plaza Church. Within a few years, he moved his family, which included his wife, Rosa Casanova, and his growing family, including my great-grandmother, María Solano, to an adobe in Solano Canyon.

    My great-grandmother, María, married Guillermo Bouett, and they built a house at the corner of Buena Vista Road (now North Broadway) and Casanova Street, where they, too, raised their family, including my grandfather, Téodoro Bouett, in the Canyon. My grandfather attended the old Solano School. When he married, my grandfather, too, lived in Solano Canyon; his family included my father, also named Guillermo, who attended the old Solano School like his father before him.

    I was not born in Solano Canyon, nor have I ever lived there; but, thanks to a life-long Canyon resident, I re-discovered my family’s 144-year history, and—more importantly—I discovered Solano Canyon itself, which is one of the most beautiful, wholesome, and wonderful communities I could ever have imagined.

    So, yes: Solano Avenue, Casanova Street, and Bouett Street are all named for members of my family. Solano Canyon, as a community, pre-dates the Dodgers by nearly a century. Whether one loves the Dodgers, hates them, or doesn’t care anything at all about baseball, there have been people—good people—living in Solano Canyon for all of their lives, and for all of that time. It seems to me that they—that you, the members of the community—deserve a say in those things that affect your lives.

    I have had the misfortune to have been a guest in the Canyon following a game at Dodger Stadium, and yes, I have seen the drunkenness, the public urination, the honking horns, and the speeding cars—all of which can only be described as major, and offensive, disruptions to life in the Canyon.

    I am a firm believer in the principle that one’s rights end where the rights of others begin—and that goes for the Dodgers, too; the sad—and, yes, angry—reports of the massive disruption caused, not only by traffic and unruly crowds, but also by fireworks displays—are a blatant and unnecessary infringement of the rights of the residents of Solano Canyon.

    So, when one considers all of the arguments, both pro and con, about the fireworks at Dodger Stadium, I would ask—as the heir of Francisco Solano and Rosa Casanova—that you, the present-day custodians of Solano Canyon, consider what makes the quality of life in the Canyon something that is precious to you. You have the right to a peaceful existence where you live, without the unwanted intrusions of crowds, traffic, unsocial behavior, and, yes, of fireworks.

    If you have read this far, thank you.

    Best wishes,
    Lawrence Bouett

  13. I live on Sunset Blvd., I am constantly bombarded with all sorts of noises day and night (music from EchoCurio and bands practicing, buses and sirens going down Sunset, drunken revelers leaving bars, etc.). It’s often quite loud, and I am often quite annoyed. However, that is the nature of my location.

    For the sake of those who live near the stadium, I do hope that the team makes efforts to change their fireworks display to lessen the noise and impact on the neighborhoods nearby. Historically speaking, I also sympathize with those neighborhoods, as the placement of Dodger Stadium itself was a political boondoggle made at the expense of those who lived there. Nobody would dispute either your right or the intelligence of complaining to Dodger management and/or the City.

    That being said, you live next to Dodger Stadium. You likely chose to live there after the stadium was built. Inherently the stadium is going to bring noise, crowds, drunks, and seemingly fireworks. I just can’t work up that much sympathy for those who chose to live near the stadium and now complain about the negative qualities of living next to a stadium.

  14. Its a friday night get over it!!!!! Enough said!

  15. they use the Scott gate all the time.

  16. Yeah the Mc Courts said F off and reopened Scott Ave after the neighborhood worked together to close it. The Dodger ownership does not have any interest in being part of our community. I hope that they loose the team in their divorce!

  17. We are Solano Canyon residents as well and we LOVE the fireworks! One of the reasons we moved to this neighborhood was because of the proximity to the stadium. We have three cats and a toddler. We’re very excited about all the new things happening at the stadium. Last night our little one was at the window pointing at the fireworks and asking for more.

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