The Boise County community of Crouch has an official population of about 150, but that swells in the summer, and particularly on the Fourth of July, when thousands fill the tiny community to escape the heat of the Treasure Valley. But another Fourth of July tradition also attracts quite a few people, and it's a tradition that Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce President Diane Caughlin describes as her “personal nightmare.”
“It’s like a train wreck. I dread the Fourth of July,” Caughlin told Boise Weekly.
Each Independence Day, Caughlin says visitors and residents are permitted to light off fireworks in the middle of the town — legal or otherwise (take a look at the video, some these are rather considerable rockets).
“At first, when it was just the locals doing it, it wasn’t such a big deal,” Caughlin told BW. “It’s gotten out of hand. Some of the mortars they’re shooting off are bigger than what we have in the show.”
Not only does this raise a concern about illegal fireworks being used in the town, it causes a major safety issue. Caughlin advises the public to stay away from where people are lighting their own fireworks, and keep children out of harm’s way.
To encourage a safer way to celebrate the holiday, the Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce will hold a low-key celebration of its own, including a pancake feed, river race, parade and its own display of fireworks.