Although the sale of fireworks is becoming more widespread overall, some areas remain "fireworks-free" zones. In drought-prone states with a significant fire risk, such as California and New Mexico, many counties ban consumer fireworks outright. Some counties in other states, like Virginia, forbid fireworks due to public safety concerns.
Sometimes, the only cherry bomb should be on your party's music playlist. Here are five ideas for a different kind of glittering display.
Create visual starbursts. Pops of color and glimmering decorations can compensate for a dark sky. Think big, with oversized paper lanterns, paper garlands, and streamers. (For instance, Martha Stewart's Web site has recommendations and downloadable clip art for large tissue fans, pictured above; these look terrific when clustered together.) Dust off the white fairy lights from the winter holidays and repurpose them in firework-like sprays. For a retro look, root around on Etsy for vintage bunting and banners.
Spray glowing graffiti. If your party is for the 12-and-up crowd, tap their inner taggers with a Glow Graffiti kit. The kit includes a UV-reactive sheet and what looks like a spray can. Push the can's nozzle and you'll spray UV light, which glows for about 30 seconds before fading away. For now, the kit is best found online but it will soon be sold at Target.
Unleash a confetti fountain. It may entail extra cleanup, but an explosion of shimmering confetti is a showstopper. Flutterfetti has all sorts of launchers and a lightweight tissue confetti that floats in the air longer than standard confetti. The company's "firecrackler" sticks release snapping pods along with confetti, for a popping sound effect.
Make your dessert sparkle. Glittering dessert toppers will brighten up your table. Tops Malibu makes miniature sparklers safe for putting into cakes or pies; up the ante by choosing the sparklers shaped like stars or the number 4. Martha Stewart's holiday collection for Macy's (in stores only, not online) includes red-and-blue tinsel sprigs for cupcake toppers. Or get crafty with mini paper pinwheels, either your own or the handiwork of an Etsy artisan.
Looking for more party ideas? Check out our suggestions for a retro Fourth of July celebration!