Congratulations Iowa, you can now legally purchase and use consumer grade fireworks for 4th of July and New Year celebrations! In Missouri, consumer fireworks have been legal during my entire lifetime. My children and grandchildren have enjoyed the best of two worlds. Learning how to safely use fireworks during visits to family 4th of July gatherings in Missouri and, when the calendar worked out, coming home to Iowa to attend a hometown display. That’s my son when he was allowed to light his first bottle rocket, with adult supervision! The Iowa Fire Marshal offers safety tips and rules for use. So far no one has shared my Dad’s classic, “Make sure you don’t catch the wheat field on fire!”
If you are operating on a tight budget, fireworks can be an expensive addition. Determine how much you can spend before shopping and leave children at home or prepare them ahead of time with instructions not to ask for everything! Our family has worked out a shared responsibility plan. My brother and sister purchase night time fountains and rockets and I am in charge of daytime tanks, poppers, and frogs that never jump! Neighbors always enjoyed our choices.
We’ve learned that bigger isn’t always better. Smaller versions of fountains will produce a display that is just as attractive, but may last for a shorter time. Sometimes the extra cost was to purchase a taller cardboard tube. Multiple tubes also have a greater chance of having a faulty fuse and only half the display is fired. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s an expensive disappointment. If you can check out prices at several locations you’ll find they do vary. Don’t be fooled by the large DISCOUNT or Buy 1 Get 1 Free sales, common marketing for fireworks stands. If you know the salesperson, ask for tips and their recommendations, many times they have sampled the inventory and can guide you to better choices.
Public firework displays in your hometown are the best way to save a July budget! Safety first everyone, and enjoy the holiday!