As the celebration of Independence Day draws near, we take a look at one of the oldest traditions of the holiday, fireworks. An iconic part of every Fourth of July celebration, they have accompanied the festivities since the earliest days of this country’s history. Every year, enormous public displays draw millions of families around the country to watch the sky awash in colorful explosions. It’s the American way.

We may all love our fireworks, but back in the day, we preferred the more hands-on approach, a part of the tradition that has fizzled out in most parts of the country. Back a few decades, pretty much anyone had access to massive amounts of fireworks when the season rolled around. Large temporary stands could be found on just about every street corner, each containing an arsenal of various fountains, flowers, shells, roman candles, and every little kid’s holiday favorite – sparklers.

But as more and more injuries piled up each year, not to mention fires, many municipalities have banned their use. In some states, they are flat out illegal, while others place restrictions on the types, such as only allowing those to be sold that neither explode, nor leave the ground. Still, a handful of states remain that place virtually no restrictions on fireworks, even offering enormous warehouses for the public to shop for their favorite incendiary devices.

It is safe to say that, depending on when and where you grew up, you likely have entirely different experiences with fireworks as a kid. Are your memories limited to viewing public displays, or did you have hands-on experience? Did the pending arrival of the Fourth mean dreaming up new uses for bottle rockets, firecrackers and cherry bombs? Or, did the whole concept of fireworks, public or private, frighten you to tears? Finally, if you were witness to a particularly amazing fireworks show as a child, tell us all about it. We would love to hear all your childhood memories of fireworks, both private and public, in our comments section below.

4 Responses to “Fireworks”

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  1. princessdiana says:

    Our Fireworks were banned in Grand Blanc years ago. Flint still has Fireworks on the f4th of July.

  2. Andy says:

    Never had anything really cool to play with as a kid other than snakes, sparklers, smoke bombs, or anything that just emitted a bunch of smoke. No loud noise, no explosions…lol My mom did buy some bottle rockets from a neighbor once but I wasn’t allowed to launch any. However as an adult, about three years ago I sought out my first fireworks store, Phantom Fireworks, and I seriously bought stock in that store that day. I spent about $120 and I still have a ton of bottle rockets and M-88’s and a few firecrackers. Some of my stuff had become duds by last year so unfortunately I had to throw away some of my “WMD’s”. I didn’t realize this crap had a shelf life. Oh well.

  3. Gina says:

    Neighborhood fireworks scare my poor beagle half to death on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. Please just stick to the professional shows! I understand my dog isn’t the only dog to be frightened. Some dogs get so scared they even jump through windows. My dog found a hidey hole in the back of my closet where she tore up some montage posters I made as a kid and that were treasures to me.

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