Me: “Umm, are those fireworks? Aren’t they illegal in New Jersey?”
Grocer: “Not anymore. Governor Christie changed the law last year, so no more having to drive to Pennsylvania to buy fireworks.”
What’s the law? What’s allowed? Which fireworks do what?
The following is an excerpt from a humorous NJ.com article by Joe Atmonavage with all the details.
Legal fireworks are so boring your neighbors won’t even call the cops
Last year, then-Gov. Chris Christie took a stand and signed a bill allowing anyone old enough to have a learner’s permit to twirl around with a sparkler if they so choose, taking New Jersey off the short list of states with blanket bans on fireworks. (Massachusetts now stands alone.)
Signed at the end of last June, the bill legalized “non-explosive, non-aerial” fireworks such as sparklers and party poppers. While shopping the selection of legal “fireworks” was overwhelmingly anti-climatic, setting them off was not as boring as “sparklers” and “party poppers” might sound.
We wanted to get a little bit of everything so we would be ready to show off to our friends and family on July Fourth just how cool New Jersey’s somewhat-new fireworks law is.
Choosing which fireworks to get is harder than it sounds. While you know that at the end of the day they practically all do the same thing (make sparks, create some noise, maybe change colors), the bright packaging with eye-catching images makes choosing a tad harder.
They had the classic pyro toys like sparklers (including neon ones!), snappers, smoke grenades, fountains, as well as small fireworks that don’t do all that much, like snakes in the grass, jumping jacks and something called a “gyro bloom.”
You can buy these in jumbo sets that can cost hundreds of dollars, but you can also buy them individually. We paid $66 for nearly 20 individual packages.So where do you shoot off fireworks on a random Wednesday in June?SnappersThis may have the look of a firecracker, but don’t freak out. It has nowhere near the intensity of a firecracker. It doesn’t have the same pop as one, and all it really does is spin around for like three seconds and spark off various colors.Smoke grenadeNo loud noises or flashy sparks. The smoke grenade is all business, and as I learned the hard way, the $5.99 gadget lets off a hefty stream of smoke.Fountains
This is the grandaddy of legal New Jersey fireworks. It is the closest we can get to shooting a real firework off ourselves. The one we tried put on quite the show.The $20 fountain lasted around two-and-half minutes. And let me tell you, when you are playing with fireworks in a residential area on a random Wednesday, that is a long two-and-a-half minutes.