Utah is a state that loves fireworks almost as much as guns. It must have something to do with the similar sound. Like most states we had the usual array of safe and sane fireworks, fountains and sparklers mostly. But just a short drive into Wyoming was a wonderful world of illegal fireworks that shot into the air and burst into a variety of colors. Just like the lottery in Idaho, Wyoming's tax coffers are filled with the purchases from Utah residents. The Utah Highway Patrol would sit on the state line with their high powered binoculars looking for those cars parked at the fireworks store and making their way back to Utah with their contraband and hit them with a fine (and amass a kick ass collection of fireworks I always suspected they used at their own home displays).
Sometimes the economic crisis works to an advantage. Our narrow minded state legislators usually waste their time making the most ridiculous laws (like having to put a barrier, nicknamed the Zion Curtain, in a restaurant bar so young children would not be corrupted by the pretty bottles and colors of people pouring and mixing alcohol). This year they decided to allow some formerly illegal fireworks to be sold in the state and keep our tax dollars at home. With a few tweaks to our law, you can purchase cake aerials that look like a fountain, but shoot up into the air before exploding and are almost as good as a professional display. From June 26th to July 26th (July 24th is a state holiday here) you can purchase and set these off according to your local municipalities rules.
Now I am not always a good citizen, but I was not one of those who would drive to buy the illegal fireworks. I was content with our safe and sane display each year while admiring those shot off in the neighborhood from the neighbors who had the guts to go and get the illegal ones. But now that these were legal I was very excited to try them for myself. I couldn't wait to give the formerly illegal fireworks a shot (no pun intended).
The bad side to the economic crisis was that I no longer had a fireworks budget. So I decided I would not buy groceries the rest of July and have a little fun with the family. I would have loved the $129 finale that had 42 shots, but I was frugal. We found a couple of decent ones for $10 and spent $20 on a "finale". The finale was really no better than the $10 cakes. And the $10 red, white and blue aerials were pretty awesome. When these things are popping off right over your head you can't help but be wowed.
All in all there were less fires and firework accidents in the state this year. I imagine by allowing some fireworks to be sold here, it kept enough people at home and not buying the bottle rockets and m-80's from Wyoming that seem to cause most of the problems. The 4th was the loudest I ever heard it here and the pollution levels were way up, but it was an awesome display all across this valley. God Bless America, I am hooked on these! If I hit the lottery (in Idaho) you're all invited to the mother of all home fireworks displays next year!