The Big BangOrdinary consumers certainly don’t have the budgets that states and cities do for their annual fireworks displays, but that doesn’t mean people looking to put on nice show from their backyard need to empty their savings accounts.
“Fifty dollars can go a long way if you’re smart with your money,” Michael Ingram, director of development for the Fireworks Supermarket, tells MainStreet. To help those committed to putting on a showy, but affordable display this Fourth of July, MainStreet asked a few fireworks retailers to recommend some of their best products.
Keep in mind that both the use and sale of fireworks is restricted or just downright illegal in several states, so check your local laws before putting on your own show this year. And be careful: In 2009 fireworks caused nearly 9,000 injuries, so all products should be handled carefully by experienced adults who have evaluated the risks with putting on their own show.
You can check out what your state laws may be on the American Pyrotechnics Association website. You can also find tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on how to prevent fireworks injuries in MainStreet’s safety roundup.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
SparklersSparklers, hand-held fireworks that emit colored flames as they burn, are a popular fixture in many Fourth of July barbecues since they are legal in most states. (That being said, they should never be given to an unsupervised child as they can result in burns.)
If you’re looking to add some spark to your (supervised) festivities, Ingram suggests one of his company’s top sellers, Neon Sparklers, which come in packs of 36 for around $2.50. The sparklers come in extra-bright colors, and Ingram says “they also have effects to them,” including crackling balls of light and some strobing.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fireworks Supermarket
Sky LanternsAccording to Matthew James Rhinehart, spokesperson for Spirit of 76, sky lanterns, airborne paper lanterns that almost look like mini hot air balloons have been growing in popularity the last few years. You might remember them from movies like Tangled or The Hangover Part II, but those unfamiliar with the product can see them in action here.
“It is an item that is a lot of fun, lasts for a long time and is legal almost everywhere,” Rhinehart says. “The item generally retails for $7 to $15.”
Spirit of 76, a wholesale fireworks dealer in the U.S, sells 11-pound cases of assorted sky lanterns for $57.70, but anyone needing to adhere to a $50 budget, can get a 10 piece set of plain white sky lanterns on Amazon for $25.99.
Photo Credit: Keith Williamson
Confetti CannonsConfetti cannons, devices that shoot little pieces of brightly-colored paper instead of sparks, are another option for people looking for a bang without all the scary pyrotechnics.
AllPartyPoppers.com, a partner with the Fireworks Supermarket, sells these 24-inch confetti cannons that propel confetti over 25 feet into the air for $34.95 for a case of 12 cannons.
Photo Credit: Allpartypoppers.com
RocketsIf you want some bigger pyrotechnics at your party, you can opt for rockets, fireworks made from paper tubes that shoot up into the sky. Rockets are lit by a fuse and explode in the air, though anyone using rockets should be extremely careful of misfires.
For those interested in adding them to their arsenal, Rhinehart suggests this Smiley Face Rocket, which can be found at various retail outlets for around $17.50 for a pack of five.
“These rockets do exactly what the name implies,” he says. “After a three-second journey into the sky, the rocket bursts into a smiley face that expands until it fades out.”
Photo Credit: www.76wholesale.com
MissilesSimilarly, those into missiles should check out one of Black Cat Fireworks’ more popular items, the Going Haywire 300 Shot, a missile that typically costs around $14.29.
“It has some new effects for the missile fan, including colored and glitter tails [and] crackle,” Chris Noland, director of marketing for Black Cat Fireworks, says.
Photo Credit: BlackCatFireworks.com
Assortment PacksAssortment packs feature a variety of different products, including sparklers, strobes, rockets and other flares, and our experts agree they generally give consumers the best value for their money.
Fireworks Supermarket’s most popular assortment pack is the Grand Jumbo, which features a mix of “For Adults Only” fireworks and a few small items more suitable for younger family members. It typically retails for $45, while one of Black Cat Fireworks’ most popular assortment packs, the Party Pack #4, can be purchased for $47.88 on Winco International Fireworks’ website.
Photo Credit: FireworksSupermarket.com
Fantastic Fourth of July FireworksDon’t want to put on your own display? Find out what cities traditionally put on the best Fourth of July shows in this MainStreet roundup.
Photo Credit: .bala
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