With municipal July 4 fireworks canceled from the High Country to the shore, many of us are planning even now to prepare our own celebrations because, even shuttered publicly, Independence Day goes on.

This year, more of us than average will be hosting our own fireworks events. But in North Carolina, what exactly does that mean?

That the Old North State has more restrictive laws concerning pyrotechnics than its neighbors is one of the first things to know. South Carolina, for example, allows pretty much anything, but here, if the device leaves the ground, it’s not allowed without a N.C. pyrotechnic license.

In other words, it isn’t legal to use in North Carolina bottle rockets, firecrackers, spinners, Roman candles or anything that shoots into the air.

Legal are sparklers, snakes, fountains, poppers and noisemakers — which even in themselves can cause harm: seemingly harmless sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees.

Sure, we are barely into June, and July 4 is a few weeks away. But many of us, given the current state of our communities, counties, states and nation, are more than ready to start planning the festivities now.

For some, that means taking a trip across the border to buy fireworks that aren’t available for sale in North Carolina. Our advice — don’t make such things a part of your event. When fireworks go wrong, it’s fast and final. Enjoy your legal fireworks this year, and leave the aerial displays to the pros in 2021.

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