This coming July Fourth will mark the first Independence Day that Pennsylvanians will be able to buy certain types of fireworks, which has prompted warnings from municipalities and safety officials.
House Bill 542, which repealed and replaced much of the Fireworks Act of 1939, was signed into law on Oct. 30, 2017. The law allows state residents to buy Class C, or consumer grade, fireworks. That includes Roman candles, bottle rockets and similar fireworks containing 50 milligrams of explosives or less.
Resident must be 18 or older to buy fireworks.
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency said there are restrictions on where and how such fireworks can be used. They can’t be set off without the permission of the property owner. They also may not be discharged from or within a motor vehicle or building, toward a motor vehicle or building or within 150 feet of an occupied residents.
That rules out almost all areas in Carlisle Borough, according to a post on the borough’s official Nextdoor page.
Fireworks also may not be discharged by someone under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances or other drugs.
According to PEMA, about 230 people across the country end up in the emergency room each day during the weeks surrounding the Independence Day holiday with firework-related injuries.
Carlisle Borough in its post urged residents to play it safe by avoiding fireworks altogether.
“Please play it safe and come out to see the annual fireworks show instead,” it said.
Here is the Fourth of July 2018 fireworks schedule for the Midstate region:
Saturday, June 30
- Hampden Township — 9 p.m. at the Hampden Park and Pool Complex. The fireworks top off the Fun Food Fest, which starts with a DJ at the township pool from 1 to 4 p.m. Food trucks will be in place at 4 p.m., and the Greater Harrisburg Concert Band will perform at 4:30 with Katz 22 performing at 6 p.m.
Monday-Tuesday, July 2-3
- Harrisburg — fireworks both evenings following the Harrisburg Senators’ games at FNB Field on City Island. The Senators take on the Richmond Flying Squirrels at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 3
- Carlisle — 9:45 p.m. at the Carlisle Fairgrounds. The fireworks follow Summerfair’s Tractor Twang concert and country line dancing event at 7 p.m. Rain date is July 5.
- Gettysburg — 9:30 p.m. on the campus of Gettysburg College on Science Center lawn (adjacent to Constitution Avenue midway between North Washington Street and West Lincoln Avenue). The fireworks follow a 6 p.m. concert by the Willys and the Gala Pops Orchestra. Rain date is July 5.
- Harrisburg — 9:15 p.m. on City Island, Harrisburg. The fireworks are the finale of Harrisburg’s one-day “A Taste of Independence” festival. The event features about 40 food trucks, entertainment and children’s activities. The festival starts at 3 p.m.
- Hershey — 10:15 p.m. at Hersheypark, 100 W. Hersheypark Drive. Amusements and activities in the park operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- New Bloomfield — 11 p.m. at New Bloomfield Elementary School, 300 W. High St., as part of the New Bloomfield Fireman’s Carnival, which runs July 3-7.
- Shippensburg — 9:30 p.m. at Veteran’s Memorial Park, Park Place, Shippensburg. Gates open at 6 p.m. The Shippensburg Town Band plays at 8 p.m.
- Williams Grove Speedway in Monroe Township — after the evening’s racing at 1 Speedway Drive, Monroe Township.