For many, the Fourth of July means backyard cookouts, family gatherings and parades. But the night isn’t complete unless it ends with a bang. And a shower of light, of course.
Frederick County is no exception to that rule — there are nine different fireworks displays over the next week in celebration of the holiday, allowing crowds to see the sky-high explosions of color they can’t recreate at home.
In Frederick County, the general rule is that nothing that leaves the ground or explodes is legal for home use, said Michael Dmuchowski, fire marshal for Frederick County. In addition to searching for users of illegal fireworks — which carries a fine of up to $500, and possible criminal charges — he also patrols the firework sellers, and lets them know if they have illegal items, Dmuchowski said. He said residents should purchase fireworks in the county.
“Generally the stuff you buy within the county is legal in the county,” he said. “If you go across the state line you can end up with illegal stuff.”
The names are wild and colorful at one of those stands, Tri-State Fireworks — 1.12 Gigawatts, Delirium, Devil’s Delight, Tiki Mon — but it’s the buy one, get one free deal that’s drawing customers in this year. The stand is in the parking lot of the Motel 6, at 999 West Patrick St.
Mike Lucido, a Frederick native who lives in Westminster, has been working at the stand for five years, and said the deal, which is new this year, has been a major draw for customers looking for a bargain.
“A lot of people will buy an assortment and then one good finale type of firework,” he said, referring to the large spark fountains with multiple colors. Fireworks at the stand range in price from $1.75 for two packs of sparklers to $169.95 for a pair of the largest assortment boxes.
Phyl Waddell of Frederick was buying fireworks with her son, Erik Gettel on Monday night. She said her family gets together for Fourth of July for dinner and then watches the city’s fireworks before returning home for dessert and their own fireworks display.
“It’s pretty fun,” she said. “My husband’s the safety man, he has the buckets of water and makes sure everything gets disposed of properly.”
While many enjoy creating their own backyard display, the bigger explosions have a draw all their own. Adam Pohl, director of marketing and public relations for the Frederick Keys, said the team schedules about 20 nights of fireworks each year. He said attendance is higher on fireworks nights, but didn’t have an estimate for how much larger.
He said the team tends to schedule fireworks nights for bigger weeknight games and on weekends, when attendance tends to be higher anyway. This year, because the team hosts home games on July 2 and 3, there will be fireworks as a ramp up to the holiday.
“It is our most effective promotion,” Pohl said.
But while fireworks displays can be exciting for people, they can be frightening for pets, according to Harold Domer, director of Frederick County Animal Control.
“It is not uncommon for us to receive an increase in stray, owned animals — animals that get away from their owners during the Fourth of July,” Domer said
Domer said pet owners who know loud noises bother their pets should keep them inside and in a lower level of the house to shield them from noise during fireworks or thunderstorms. For dogs, being outside during the loud noises can cause problems, he said.