This is the first Independence Day in almost 80 years that Philadelphians will be legally allowed to set off airborne fireworks.
We’ve got the state House of Representatives to thank (or blame, depending on your point of view).
In October 2017, the legislative body officially repealed the Fireworks Act of 1939, aka the statewide Fourth of July party-pooper. Legislators signed into law House Bill 542, which replaced the old one with an updated Fireworks Act of 2017.
Before the new law, you could only mess around with the ground-based fireworks. Meanwhile, you could buy the more advanced ones in Pa., but only if you had out-of-state ID and promised to set them off there.
This one is way more fun.
Now, Pennsylvanians can legally purchase and set off:
- Ground-based fireworks
- Roman candles
- Bottle rockets
- Other Class C fireworks, also known as “consumer grade”
- NOT fireworks with more than 50 milligrams of explosive materials
- NOT “display” fireworks, which contain professional-grade pyrotechnics
Where can you buy them?
Naturally, since the law is relatively recent, the Philly region isn’t stocked with places that sell fireworks, which must be licensed by the state Department of Agriculture.
Luckily for the pyromaniacs among us, Pennsylvania thought this one through.
The state apparently understood there’d be an influx of people wanting to buy fireworks, without any increase in places to sell them. So the Department of Agriculture agreed to issue a bunch of temporarily licenses for selling fireworks between June 15 and July 8 to accommodate the holiday.
The state even made a map of all the temporary shops that opened for the holiday.
(Protip: Keystone Novelties scored a temporary license at 1851 S. Columbus Blvd. You’re welcome.)
As far as nontemporary spots, the closest to Philly proper is probably Phantom Fireworks in Chester. There’s also Wholesale Fireworks in Upper Chichester and Intergalactic Fireworks in Langhorne.
Happy Fourth, Philly. Let’s try to keep all our limbs in tact.