As the celebration of Independence Day draws near, we thought we would 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, usually accompanied by a rousing patriotic soundtrack.
One particular tradition that seems to be fizzling out in most parts of the country, however, is the use of fireworks by individuals. Back a few decades, pretty much anyone had access to fireworks when the season rolled around. Large temporary sheds 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. Here’s a quick look at one such place:
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 do you have more 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 at Retroland, as we prepare once again to celebrate the birth of a nation. Of course, since we are located in Southern California, we will not be lighting any fireworks of our own, just watching them from afar.
And finally, just because we still have fireworks on the brain, we’ll leave you with this clip of a recent state-of-the-art fireworks display from Disneyland, designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the theme park in 2005. Enjoy!