City Hall

City Hall

City commissioners agree to ban Chinese lanterns

October 9, 2012


From now on in Lawrence, that bright light up in the sky had better be the sun, or a maybe a comet or perhaps even a UFO, but definitely not a Chinese lantern.

Lawrence city commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting unanimously agreed to ban “aerial luminaries” from being used inside the city limits.

“The use of these devices is really becoming a problem across the globe,” Fire Chief Mark Bradford told commissioners. “We fully support the banning of this type of device as a prevention effort.”

The aerial lanterns are like miniature hot-air balloons that usually are fueled by an open flame inside a paper sack-like contraption.

Bradford said there have been reports of the devices rising high enough to interfere with aircraft, and sometimes the flame is not fully extinguished by the time it hits the ground.

Commissioners heard no opposition from the public regarding the ban.

“You’re suggesting having a large paper bag with a candle in it floating around the city is a bad idea?” City Commissioner Aron Cromwell asked Bradford. “I can probably see that.”

The cities of Wichita, Derby, McPherson, Emporia and Kansas City already have banned the luminaries, according to a city memo. Lawrence’s ordinance allows the city’s Municipal Court judge to assess a fine ranging from $1 to $1,000 for violation of the ordinance.


atiopatioo 1 year, 6 months ago

Flaming cherries should be banned as well. Five people passing the last of a doobie around waiting for someone to inhale the flaming cherry is dangerous to the uvula.


clovis_sangrail 1 year, 6 months ago

I made something like that when I was in high school using a cleaner's sack, some kite cross pieces and a couple of birthday candles.

It went way high, then came down in the yard at Holy Name school, where it caught a Catholic tree on fire. When it hit the tree and the cleaner's sack came into contact with the still burning candle, it was "Flame On!!"

It was a religious experience, an epiphany, if you will, not at all unlike Moses and the burning bush, except Moses didn't have to leg it back to the tent before the cops showed up.

It was not a very big tree, and fortunately, there were no other trees close by.


booyalab 1 year, 6 months ago

I find it humorous that we elect people to think of things that we can't do.


classclown 1 year, 6 months ago

You know what's fun? Hydrogen filled balloons! Fill them up with hydrogen, tie about two feet of string to it, light the string on fire, and release the balloon.

Way awesome!


alcoholbliss 1 year, 6 months ago

How will they determine who has made or launched a Chinese lantern? $40 million dollar crime lab?

Better ban wire, tissue paper, candles, matches and lighters too?

Lawrence = Chinese haters, fireworks ban, lanterns bans, what next?


oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 6 months ago

Every new mayor needs to sign something and Bradford is resume building. One would think mayor chub would focus on downtown. The trash around the dumpsters is a fire hazard as well as around the transformers. Does schumb ever leave his building or is he too busy making deals with fritzel to steal public parking lots? Bradford is busy conniving woth the school board to pillage the taxpayers for an unneeded bond issue because the district cannot maintain buildings.


riverdrifter 1 year, 6 months ago

Said it before and I'll say it again: on the 4th, Baldwin City is the Dodge City of fireworks. Haven't seen anything burn down yet as a result.


justfornow 1 year, 6 months ago

Can't wait till the 4th, I'm now an outlaw.


ImRonBurgandy 1 year, 6 months ago

What did I miss? I've been out shooting fireworks off. Oh Lanterns? Yeah, now I want to buy more and let them go.


kessman 1 year, 6 months ago

little russia at it's best.


blue73harley 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe the burglaries would decrease if the city commission banned them.


classclown 1 year, 6 months ago

"Bradford said there have been reports of the devices rising high enough to interfere with aircraft, and sometimes the flame is not fully extinguished by the time it hits the ground"


Did he cite any sources of these reports? If these things really were interfering with aircraft, the federal government would have gotten involved.

I think the outcome was already determined and they just needed to offer something as evidence so these reports came out of his behind.


Flap Doodle 1 year, 6 months ago

"“The use of these devices is really becoming a problem across the globe,” Fire Chief Mark Bradford told commissioners." Not a problem in the Sahara Desert, the Gibson Desert or around the various and sundry Poles.


Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 6 months ago

I think this law is racist. Why are the Chinese being singled out?


toe 1 year, 6 months ago

We have so many laws, they are becoming meaningless. As the nations wealth is drained, the ability to maintain the prisons, law enforcements, judges, and administration will wain. Thus only the laws generally agreed will be followed, and all others discarded.


Tanked 1 year, 6 months ago

hey Joe Heres an idea. Let s forget about the drought conditions and let anybody who who wants too light a fire and send it into to the atmosphere only to fall back down to somebodies yard and possibly burn down a house with very old or very young inside it, to the ground..... What do you think we hire people in Goverment to do for us???? Laws are on the books for a reason. Now go get your shovel ready to clean your sidewalk off when it snows!!!!!!!


Brock Masters 1 year, 6 months ago

Banned just like fireworks. We see how well that works each 4th of July.


classclown 1 year, 6 months ago

Living in Lawrence is like being catholic. If it's fun then it's bad. Therefore it must be banned.


joes_donuts 1 year, 6 months ago

How many houses have caught on fire in Kansas from Chinese Lanterns? Or for that matter, how many in the US? This seems a little rediculous to me that we are worried about Chinese Lanterns. I have never seen one but our government must think they are a threat to our national security....

Lets get government back to the real issues, rather than making stupid laws that will not ever be inforced (see Firework Ban, Noice ordinance, Nusance Ordinance, 4 unrelated people oridinance, no couches on porches ordinance, etc....)


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