Today is July 5, 2023, and it was illegally loud in Connecticut last night. I spent most of the evening enjoying a loud fireworks display right behind my place in Torrington. It wasn't the city setting them off, it was my neighbors. Where did they get their works? Pennsylvania.

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Don't be deceived by those roadside fireworks stands Connecticut, the ones we have are filled with the weak stuff - sparklers and smoke bombs. If you want the good stuff - bottle rockets, firecrackers, aerial displays, etc, you have to break the law and cross state lines. Most of New England has outlawed fireworks, except for New Hampshire, and just this year - Maine.

When my outlaw friends got the itch last month to set off some ladyfingers and shoot some Roman candles, they don't head north, they go West, to Matamoras, Pennsylvania. The short trip from Danbury along 84 through New York State into Pennsylvania led most of them to the two or three mega-fireworks stores right by the Pennsylvania Welcome Center.

I took a walk out last night to admire my neighbor's set in Torrington, and I asked them where they got their stuff. Sure enough, they stopped at Phantom Fireworks in Matamoras. Directly across the street, there was a smaller party going on, with weaker displays going up, we strolled over and asked them where they got theirs from this year, and they were just up at Bike Week in Laconia, New Hampshire. The one good thing that they got from New Hampshire this year? Old-school M-80's and Quarter Sticks. From what they said, they got them off a truck from South Dakota. That's where you go if you want the stuff of legends.

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