Were All 4th of July Fireworks Canceled Because of ‘Ongoing’ Terrorist Threats?

A literal fake news blog stirred up traffic by passing itself off as a Christian site and posting a fearmongering post around the Fourth of July holiday.

The June 2016 post from the “Christian Times Newspaper” read:

BREAKING: Feds Cancel ALL July 4th Fireworks Due to Terror Fears

Fourth of July fireworks shows across the U.S. will be canceled for safety and security reasons.

Representatives from the FBI, DOD, and Department of Homeland Security held a joint press conference in Washington to announce the unprecedented policy move.

“Ongoing threats to American national security from ISIS, domestic terrorists, and foreign terrorist organizations led federal authorities to determine that a cancellation of July 4th fireworks is necessary to reduce potential attack scenarios,” said Terrance Lively, a counter-terrorism expert with the DHS.

The blog has since been deleted. But during its brief existence it did include a disclaimer saying that “not all [its] stories are necessarily grounded in fact.”

Needless to say, “the feds” did not cancel any Fourth of July fireworks exhibitions that year. The blog’s name was likely an attempt to dupe readers into thinking it could be a legitimate faith-based site.

ABC News reported in June 2019 that federal officials did warn local police departments to be on the lookout for attacks on the holiday, but not from “ISIS”:

Federal authorities are warning that white supremacists and other political radicals could look to attack Independence Day revelers on July 4, noting in a bulletin to law enforcement around the country that domestic terrorists “have attacked perceived oppressors, opponents, or enemies engaged in outdoor First Amendment-protected rallies or protests during past summers.”

The warning came in a joint intelligence bulletin issued by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and National Counterterrorism Center, urging law enforcement personnel to remain vigilant for suspicious activity.

In June 2021 the Christian Science Monitor reported that cities in several states — including Arizona, Montana, and Oregon — have instituted their own ban on Fourth of July fireworks out of concerns they could spark wildfires amid drought conditions.

Update 7/5/2021, 10:00am: This article has been revamped and updated. You can review the original here.