July is coming, and that means it’s time to get ready for family cookouts, Saturdays at the beach, and, of course, July 4th fireworks.
Nothing beats the excitement of a colorful, rip-roaring fireworks show, especially for kids! However, what if your town doesn’t offer a July 4th fireworks show every year and your kids are clamoring to see some fireworks? If so, consider creating your own fireworks show, either in your backyard or as part of a block party.
First, Know Your Rights
Before you get started, it’s important to be knowledgeable about fireworks laws and regulations on both the state and local levels. For example, if you live in Michigan, a law recently passed allows fireworks use throughout the year, but your local town might pass a stricter ordinance. It’s important to do your researchand contact local authorities before investing in your July 4th fireworks.
While you cannot purchase and set off the huge display fireworks that you might see at a big city fireworks show without having the appropriate permits and insurance, you can still put together an impressive and entertaining show with the consumer fireworks available at most stands or stores. It’s helpful to understand a few of the main types of fireworks you will want to utilize in your July 4th fireworks display.
- Mortar/Aerial/Artillery Shells: These fireworks are often sold as a reloadable kit that comes with one or more sturdy mortar tubes. These tubes are designed to be used multiple times, firing off a single “shell” each time. Once a lit fuse reaches the shell, it launches high into the air and explodes and creates a colorful pattern in the sky, perfect for July 4th fireworks shows!
- Aerial Repeaters: This category is perfect for families wanting a small but entertaining show in their backyard, because they are a series of small tubes (similar to mortar shells) chained together to fire off one after another. The great thing about repeaters is that you only have to light a single fuse and enjoy!
- Fountains: Fountains are ground-based fireworks, but they can add a nice touch to your aerial July 4thfireworks. As the name might suggest, fountains fire off a colorful “fountain” of sparks about ten feet in the air, much lower than aerial shells.
- Display Tubes: One final type you might look into if you’re serious about putting on an impressive show for the whole neighborhood is display tubes. Some of these are multiple mortar tubes that are linked together to fire in quick succession. There are also single-shot tubes that fire unusual aerial effects that you don’t see in most other fireworks.
Finally, you might want to look into purchasing an assortments package of fireworks. These contain many of the above fireworks (and many others) packaged together at a discount.
Safety, Safety, SAFETY!
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of fireworks safety, even if it might seem obvious. Keep children at a safe distance from the fireworks you are using; July 4th fireworks are great for kids to watch, not touch. Also, for the larger fireworks listed above, it’s essential to stabilize them with bricks or wooden planks to prevent tipping over. Most are stable, but you can never be too careful. Finally, be sure to get far away once you light a fuse, and never stare directly into a mortar tube!
So if your family, friends, and neighbors want to watch some July 4th fireworks this year, but have to put them together yourself, remember to shop around and look for some interesting repeaters or mortar shells, be safe and have fun!