Celebrate the nation’s birthday by looking to the sky!
Fireworks have a 2,000-year history, with their earliest incarnations dating to ancient China’s Han Dynasty. Alchemists between 600 and 900 A.D. started developing skyborne pyrotechnics using bamboo shoots and gunpowder.
The use of fireworks to celebrate American independence can be credited to John Adams. On June 3, 1776, he wrote a letter to his wife saying the signing of the Declaration of Independence should be marked “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” His vision came true starting on July 4, 1777, during the Revolutionary War.
Fireworks have since grown into a more than $800 million per year tradition, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. (Americans will also throw about $7 billion at Fourth of July cookouts.)
If you don’t have a license from the state, Ohio residents are only allowed to set off “novelty and trick” fireworks such as glow worms, sparklers, and party poppers. Fire crackers and bottle rockets remain illegal for most of us — even on private property.
You are allowed to buy those larger fireworks from a licensed retailer or manufacturer, but you have to take them out of state within 48 hours.
So where can you go to see a really impressive fireworks show?
We’ve found venues all across Lorain County and a few in neighboring communities. Unless specifically listed, fireworks shows begin at dusk:
SATURDAY, JUNE 30
• Columbia Township Park, 25540 Royalton Rd. The annual Homecoming Festival will start at noon and include games, a watermelon-eating contest, an animal show, pet parade, cornhole competition, music, and more. It will culminate with fireworks at 10:15 p.m.
TUESDAY, JULY 3
• Lake Erie Crushers Sprenger Stadium, 2009 Baseball Blvd., Avon.
• Weiss Field, 33401 Webber Rd., Avon Lake.
• West Park, 1200 Foster Ave., Elyria.
• South Central Park, 7565 Avon Belden Rd., North Ridgeville. The event will also feature bounce houses, balloon twisters, food vendors, and live music.
• Lorain County Fairgrounds, 23000 Fairgrounds Rd., Wellington (rain date is July 6).
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4
• Oberlin Recreation Complex, 225 West Hamilton St.
• Black River Landing, 421 Black River Ln., Lorain. This year’s event will not include a concert.
• Eagle Street Park, Rochester. A parade will start the village’s Fourth of July celebration at 10:30 a.m., followed by contests, rides, games, and free entertainment.
• Firestone Park, Park Drive, Spencer.
• Dock 20, 1028 West 9th St., Cleveland.
• Cedar Point, Sandusky, starting at 11 p.m.
SATURDAY, JULY 7
• Lorain County Speedway, 9100 Leavitt Rd., Amherst Township.