Here's What You're Legally Allowed to Light Up in Cleveland This Fourth of July

click to enlarge Sparklers are legal for personal use. - Photo via Creative Commons
Photo via Creative Commons
Sparklers are legal for personal use.
There are not a whole hell of a lot of fireworks you can legally light off in Cleveland this Fourth of July. Although state legislators have attempted to pass laws legalizing amateur firework displays for decades, nothing has yet to stick. The closest we are right now is a current Senate bill that is still pending in committee. In the meantime, here are some ways you can legally celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks in Ohio.

Break out the novelty fireworks
Probably the easiest way to celebrate Independence Day is to play with sparklers, smoke bombs, snaps and snakes outside in your yard. These little guys may not be as colorful, exciting or grand, but they offer a safe and legal thrill guaranteed to impress any of your guests under the age of five.

Purchase fireworks from an authorized retailer, if you're 18 or older
There are plenty of places to legally purchase fireworks, but then to comply with Ohio law you must take your purchase to another state within 48 hours to do whatever you'd like (so long as it's legal there). Of course, thanks to a provision in Ohio's 2015 budget, you no longer have to fill out the "liar's form" promising that you'll take the explosives elsewhere. It's more of an honor system now.

Obtain a fireworks exhibitor's license
The license costs $50 and requires at least a 70 percent score on a written test, proving that you're proficient in the use of fireworks. Honestly, if you can't pass it, you probably shouldn't be setting fireworks off anyway. You can find the application here.

Go watch professional fireworks displays
Take the hassle and clean up out of partying at your home, and head to one of these Northeast Ohio fireworks displays. Prepare for much to "ooh" and "ahh" over.

If you decide to risk illegally setting off consumer fireworks like firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets, fountains or something more sinister, you could be looking at a $1,000 fine and up to six months in prison. There's also the chance of getting seriously injured, as one Lakewood man learned two year's ago after his leg was shredded.

The Ohio Department of Commerce put out a guide on how to safely and legally celebrate the Fourth of July, which you can read here. If you have more questions, you can explore an FAQ here.

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