By Joel Hillan
PARKER, Colo. (CBS4)– Some believe that celebrating freedom with fireworks is an American tradition.
“A lot of the families grew up on sparklers, fountains, even the little cars that go on the streets and smoke bombs,” said Kirstine Nguyen, who manages a fireworks tent in Parker.
“If you’re safe about it and you’re smart about it then they can be a lot of fun and no one gets hurt.”
However, due to this year’s fire restrictions, consumer fireworks are illegal in most cities and counties in Colorado, including the Denver metro area.
Find a map of fire restrictions and how the different stage restrictions impact neighborhoods in Colorado online.
Among the very few areas where fireworks are legal to ignite in the state, only fireworks that do not leave the ground and do not explode are allowed.
“This would usually be so busy that we would have a line around this and have seven registers and we only have two and I would have 13 people working for me and I only have three or four at this time, so business is hurting right now.”
Missing out on business is one thing, but for Kirstine, it’s about the people.
“I don’t need the money, but I love seeing my regulars. I like seeing the kids grow up from when they’re kids and growing up and shopping and they get so excited, kids doing chores and saying, ‘Kris, I got $8, can you help me find something?’ That’s what this means for me.”
Each day a Fire Marshall comes and inspects the tent to make sure that all of the fireworks being sold are legal and answer questions by customers.
“I love that. I love when a fire marshal comes in because he can answer questions just as much as I can and the families feel much more at ease when they can talk to an authority.”
In any case, purchasing fireworks in another state, like Wyoming, and then transporting them across state lines is illegal in Colorado.
If you have any question as to whether or not you should be lighting fireworks this year in your city or county, make sure that you contact local authorities.
Authorities will be out patrolling to make sure everyone is compliant. Denver residents caught possessing or setting off fireworks could face a fine of $999 and a year in prison. In Aurora, the fines go up to $2,650.