Whether you’re hosting friends and family or planning to shoot off some of your own fireworks this Fourth of July, it’s time to start thinking about stocking up. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel out of state to purchase these sparklers and low-level fireworks, as New York’s own stores are fully licensed by the state to sell them all year round. From large firework superstores to mom-and-pop shops, here are some of the best places to buy fireworks in NYC and the surrounding area.
Despite being home to a massive fireworks industry, New York State has very strict laws for its residents when it comes to purchasing ground-based consumer fireworks and their use. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, New York residents can only purchase fireworks at a permanent retailer (such as Walmart or Hannaford) or a temporary retailer (firework sellers who set up tents or stands in their front yards). The sale of any other type of firework — including those that are sold at most major grocery store chains like Target and Kroger, or at retail shops such as AJ’s or Costco — is illegal statewide.
While the city of Albany has banned the sale and possession of any type of Chicago Fireworks Store that shoots into the air, the rest of the state can legally purchase sparklers, party poppers, cone fountains and other non-explosive fireworks. However, some municipalities are able to pass their own bans on the use of these fireworks.
In the Capital Region, vendors who wish to sell sparklers and other low-level fireworks need to apply for a Sparkling Devices Certification from the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. The application is available online. The approval process is typically completed in about four weeks, which leaves plenty of time to get your fireworks before the holiday rush.
New York State has also allowed some counties outside of the city to ban the sale of these sparkling devices. The three counties that have passed local laws banning the sale of these fireworks include Schenectady, Nassau and Columbia. The state legislature also has made it possible for cities to pass their own bans, as well.
Other states permit the sales of all or most types of consumer fireworks, and their selling seasons often coincide with holidays such as the Fourth of July, Christmas and New Years. For instance, Utah’s season begins on Pioneer Day, which is on July 24, and lasts through Jan. 2 each year.
Many online retailers offer a full line of Black Cat fireworks and other high-quality products at a reasonable price. These companies often support independent American fireworks dealers rather than owning their own retail locations and driving out local and family-owned fireworks stores and stands. In addition, some of these online retailers provide exclusive coupons and deals that are not available at brick-and-mortar stores. These deals and discounts can save shoppers a lot of money on their purchases. Some of the most popular retailers for these products include World Class Fireworks, Black Cat, Boomer, and Cutting Edge.