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RANKED: The 10 Best Fireworks for your July 4th party

With July 4th only hours away, odds are you’re about to encounter some fireworks. While looking at videos or pictures of fireworks on your friends’ social media accounts is a mind-numbing exercise, there’s no denying that lighting that fuse and getting the first whiff of sulfur is a thrilling experience.

But which fireworks are the best? As an expert in the field after years of bringing my friends and family fireworks from Tennessee, I’m weighing in with my top ten favorites:

10. Firecrackers

Firecrackers are the most basic firework in that they really, really loud, but anyone who has a dog will tell you, that also makes them the worst.

9. Bottle Rockets

Bottle rockets are a staple at any party, but let’s face it: they’re pretty boring. Sure, they’re cheap and easy, but this is a July 4th party, not a Saturday night at Minardi Hall. Shell out a few extra bucks for the mortars.

8. Black Snakes

Snakes are fun for about five seconds. Then it just looks like there’s dog crap all over your driveway.

7. Bang Snaps

Was there anything more awesome as a kid than Bang Snaps? Also known as TNT poppers, they’re one of the few fireworks safe enough to let kids have, therefore are a staple at every family gathering.

6. Smoke Bombs

Smoke bombs may seem a little boring, but here’s one thing they have over most fireworks: because they emit colored smoke, they’re best shot off during the day, meaning they’re awesome for getting the party started and wasting time before it gets dark.

5. Ground Spinners

These are fine unless they’re the ones that are emit that really high-pitched whistle. Those are the worst.

4. Roman Candles

I have a special spot in my heart for roman candles. At my family’s July 4th parties growing up, one of the grown-ups (usually intoxicated) would run laps around the yard with roman candles in their hands. Now, that is obviously not safe (hear that, kids?), but man, it was the pinnacle of cool to a ten-year-old.

3. Sparklers

I can hear you now, “Sparklers in the top three?!”, but hear me out. Sparklers are always a hit and give those who aren’t in charge of the big stuff something to play with. Also, it’s almost impossible to resist spelling your name out with one.

2. Parachutes

I feel like I haven’t seen a lot of parachute fireworks in the past few years, which is a shame because they’re fun. Who doesn’t love shooting off a firework just to see a parachuter come down in its wake? Like smoke bombs, these are also great because they’re best shot off during the day, helping you pass the time until dusk.

1. Mortars

The best way to pull off a professional looking firework show without spending a fortune: line up several tubes, assign a person to each one, pop a mortar in, light the fuse, RUN AWAY!, and reload. If you’ve got some extra money and don’t want to deal with the reload, splurge for some aerial repeaters.

Get on out there and light some fireworks, friends. And above, all, be safe, and remember: you can always watch them on TV:

Rank your favorites below:

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

13 Comments for RANKED: The 10 Best Fireworks for your July 4th party



  1. binarysolo
    2:20 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

    Have fun but be careful out there, BBN. #JasonPierrePaul #wetblanket



  2. The Seed v. 2.0
    2:32 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

    You’re gonna stand there, ownin’ a fireworks stand, and tell me you don’t have no whistlin’ bungholes, no spleen splitters, whisker biscuits, honkey lighters, hoosker doos, hoosker don’ts, cherry bombs, nipsy daisers, with or without the scooter stick, or one single whistlin’ kitty chaser?



    • BigBlueMeade
      2:36 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

      Love that scene



    • playmorezeppelin
      2:54 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

      I literally just looked up this quote to post it but you beat me to it. Smh.



  3. Sentient Third Eye
    2:38 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

    No offense, Mrs. T, but you can tell this list was written by a girl. With guys, the bigger the bang the better. No way firecrackers would be # 10, and anything bigger like those illegal M80s, M88s and M90s. Heck, if we could shoot off sticks of dynamite, most guys would probably light at least one in order to brag about it later.



    • runningunnin.454
      2:54 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

      My father-in-law had an 8 ga shotgun he would fire on the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve.
      I was always partial to mortars and RPG’s.



  4. Duff86
    2:49 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

    Snakes and Sparklers should be included on the list of top 10 worst fireworks ever. What about M-80s!!!? Now get out there and safely blow some stuff up!



  5. Wilfred Smith
    3:34 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

    1) My dog cowering in the bathroom in fear.

    2) Getting less than 6 hours of sleep because I wake up early.

    3) Seeing the spent fireworks left in the street.

    4) Knowing that 50% of the idiots shooting them don’t know that it’s Independence Day, not “4th of July”.

    5) Knowing that 95% of the idiots shooting them don’t know anything about the Continental Congress or that we were once colonies under British rule.



    • Sentient Third Eye
      4:03 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

      From Hee Haw;

      “Did you know other countries don’t have a Fourth of July?”

      “You mean they just go from the third to the fifth?”



    • runningunnin.454
      4:31 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

      Ask them who won the French and Indian War….the French or the Indians.



    • Chacosrule
      11:55 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

      I hate fireworks for all the reasons you listed. Furthermore, my wife’s idiot cousin spent 1100$ on fireworks one year. He’s been bankrupt twice since then.
      Folks, please don’t buy fireworks if you can’t afford them.



  6. Sticky Ceiling
    4:08 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

    No M-80s? That is kind of like Christmas without Santa. I can’t remember a Kentucky 4th of July without a box of M-80s!



  7. catsarerunnin
    6:50 pm July 3, 2017 Permalink

    Sure,bottle rockets ARE boring unless you insert one into half a Twinkie. Then they’re pretty cool.