As a resident of the Charlotte area for most of my life, 4th of July means standing (because there is no way you are swimming) in a crowded pool for the first part of the holiday and then attending some sort of backyard BBQ where the host will most definitely fire off an impressive illegal fireworks display that cost your host at least $500. How will you know? They will tell you…more than once.
For as long as I can remember, NC residents have been going across the border to SC to purchase their fireworks, but set them off in their own backyards. In SC, where you not only have to be 16 to purchase fireworks, you can purchase just about anything your heart desires from one of the many brick and mortar fireworks stores just after “South Carolina Welcomes You”. However, you should remember NC State Laws regarding the possession of illegal fireworks (if it leaves the ground, it’s banned) and penalties that include a misdemeanor charge and fines up to $500 and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months for an illegal display. You may create your own firework show legally. You simply need to submit an application with the State Fire Marshal, attend a fireworks safety class and pass an exam. Then viola, you are ready to fire away.
For those who don’t opt to take the classes, of course there is a legal way to add a little explosive sparkle to your 4th of July celebration. Many area stores carry inexpensive packages including poppers, sparklers and fountains, but legal doesn’t always equal safe. In fact, the bulk of firework related injuries every year come from mishandling legal fireworks. The Charlotte Fire Department offers the following tips:
- Always buy from a reliable vendor.
- Never alter or attempt to make your own fireworks.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Do not wear loose clothing when setting off fireworks.
- Fireworks are not toys and should only be handled by responsible adults.
- Always keep a water hose or bucket of water nearby in case of emergency.
- Light only one firework at a time. If it goes out or nothing happens, don’t try to relight.
- Set off fireworks on a paved area away from trees, grass and other vegetation.
- Never shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container.
Your safest firework display options this 4th of July are one of the numerous shows in the area. Here are just a few!
Nights of Fire at Carowinds
A large firework show will run nightly from July 4th until August 11th. See www.carowinds.com for more details.
WBT Sky Show at Knights Stadium
There is nothing more American than hot dogs, Cracker Jacks and baseball. Rumor has it that this is Sky Show’s final performance, ever. Doors open at 5 pm but contact the ticket office early because this game is known to sell out. At the end of the game, still one of the best fireworks displays in the area will light the night sky. I must say that I am partial to this one because Sky Show was the official Charlotte fireworks show for many years in Uptown and my family did this last year. It was one of the best 4th of Julys our family ever had. This year, we are stepping up the celebration and heading to our nation’s capital. WBT Sky Show 2013
US National Whitewater Coca-Cola 4th of July Festival
This two day celebration (July 3rd & 4th) features live music, activities and fireworks at sunset but arrive early because this place get crowded quickly. http://usnwc.org/4th-of-july-festival/
Lake Wylie, SC
Nothing says summer like fireworks over the lake. If you don’t have a boat, the best views are around the Buster Boyd Bridge where there are plenty of restaurants to patron. Fireworks begin after dark.
If you are interested in a small town 4th of July experience, Waxhaw is the perfect place to be! Celebrations begin at 10:00 AM with a parade and continue with a Beach Party from 4:30 PM until 8:30 PM. Then find a great spot to watch a spectacular firework display just after sunset.
Novant Health July 4th Spectacular
Saving the best for last, this is Charlotte’s “OFFICIAL” fireworks show. 20 minutes of amazing fireworks using the Charlotte Skyline as your backdrop. Independence Park, just across the street from our office is the best viewing spot in the city. Fireworks go off around 9:30 PM but arrive early to find your parking spot and hike to the park.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July from your friends at T. R. Lawing Realty, Inc.