RIVERSIDE — Home fireworks displays could be more popular than ever this year as some Pennsylvanians have opted to stay close to home.
Brian Whitenight, of Whitenight’s Fireworks LLC, vouched for their popularity as there have been busy times at his store on Sunbury Road, near Riverside. This is the third year that Pennsylvania residents can purchase fireworks for their own use and Whitenight was open extra hours as Independence Day approached.
When it comes to fireworks at home, Whitenight said safety trumps all other considerations.
“Just pay attention to what the local ordinances are,” he said. “Stay 150 feet from people, roads and buildings.”
The appeal of bright, loud displays detonated on a patriotic holiday should not displace common sense.
“I love fireworks as much if not more than anyone,” he said. “But you need to abide by the rules.”
For example, a customer in an apartment complex or development can enjoy a fountain-style display rather than an item which flies in the air.
“There are fountains that last over three minutes. They’re gorgeous. They just don’t go 100 feet in the air,” Whitenight said. “Someone who has restricted room, at least you can still have a nice display with your children and have a good time.”
For families considering displays in town, Whitenight urged them to follow all local codes and talk with the neighbors.
“I had a couple of people come in and they weren’t sure what they could do,” Whitenight said. “Talk to your neighbors. See what they are good with and it has worked out well. Ninety percent of them come back and say the neighbors are all for it and we are going to have this. It makes things so much easier.”
Whitenight, born and raised in the Danville area, said he remembers his dad bringing home items everyone enjoyed.
“It was more the backyard show,” he recalled. “My father, if he was out traveling, always brought home a couple of things, nothing extravagant, and we’d have fun as a family. That’s just kind of where it’s always been with me.”
Artwork has done much to help sell the product, as fireworks often come in bright boxes with creative and colorful images.
There are products with patriotic themes, of course, with some featuring dramatic images of the president of the United States. Others attract buyers with bawdy or suggestive names like “For Adults Only.” It features an illustration of an exotic dancer.
Whitenight also does Independence Day shows, including one in the Berwick area. The store will close at 5 p.m. tonight so Whitenight’s employees can enjoy the rest of the holiday and he can do the show.