Fireworks a family tradition

Published 6:00 am Friday, July 2, 2010

Let’s not condone handing a duffel bag full of firecrackers and a box of matches off to an 8-year-old one Sunday evening. But don’t take a Fourth of July staple – as much as burgers, dogs and potato salad – away from kids who always want to marvel at something in the sky.

To play it safe, families can gets their fireworks fix at contained celebrations where all you to is sit in your lawn chairs and stare upwards at a booming spectacle. And that works just fine. Nobody likes those colorful and massive streams as much as I do. In fact, lately I’ve found myself watching such displays with my dad perched in chairs in the bed of a parked pickup truck several miles away.

People often refuse to attend any type of July 4th event if fireworks aren’t on the menu, and I don’t blame them. It’s the American way. We like to watch stuff blow up. Sue us.

But sometimes we want more creative control with these fireworks shows. Thank goodness, you can find a hut just about every five miles in Alabama that’ll lend a hand to your own extravaganza.

Be it Roman candles, bottle rockets, sparklers, chasers, whipper-snappers or those weird black snake thingies, home-friendly fireworks are quick, cheap and easy entertainment the kids will never stop loving.

But let’s not be nave here. Supervision of said children cannot be stressed enough. As a child, my parents allowed me to use matches or a lighter to start the fuses of several cardboard explosives. You’re nuts if you think they ever left me alone with it. No because I’d do something stupid, but always just in case.

You may trust your children to make responsible decisions, but you can never been too careful with these kinds of fire hazards. Fun with fireworks can quickly lead to tragedy. No one wants to dial 911 on the Fourth of July.

Still, once you’ve downed your fifth plate of barbecue, resist the urge to totally rule out a relaxing evening with a few hundred bottle rockets. And do us all a favor, and clean up your mess at least by morning.

I know I’ll partake in all – carefully.