Fireworks have been delighting people for a long time. Even here in the United States fireworks were a part of the original celebration of the Declaration of Independence in 1777. The Fourth of July has been celebrated with fireworks ever since, barring last year due to COVID. This year in Idaho many cities are having firework displays and, after the pandemic, it might be just the thing people are looking for.
In lieu of setting of fireworks at home and potentially causing some damage people can see big displays put on around the state. In Boise the show is at Ann Morrison Park at 10:15 p.m.; people can get more information at the website, cityofboise.org. The Boise Hawks play a game followed by fireworks. Meridian will have fireworks in Storey Park. Star is having its Hometown Celebration with fireworks, more info on the city of Star's website, staridaho.org. Caldwell has a Fourth of July parade on the third followed by fireworks in Brothers Park on the fourth. Find more information at the website, cityofcaldwell.org. McCall is hosting a show over the Payette Lake around dusk; people can get more information at the website, visitmccall.org and Idaho Falls is also having an event put on by the The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration, more information can be found at the website, freedomcelebration.com.
According to the Smithsonian, the first American firework display for the Fourth of July wasn’t filled with elaborate colors because there was only one: orange. Looking at modern displays it’s apparent that fireworks have come a long way.
The history of fireworks is a long one, believed to have first started in ancient China during the Song Dynasty between 960 and 1279 A.D. On their website, the American Pyrotechnics Association states that the first fireworks are thought to have been made from bamboo and thrown into a fire where they would explode to ward off evil spirits.
By the 13th century fireworks use had made its way into Europe and was being used in different celebrations across the area by the 15th century. Modern fireworks, including the multiple colors used, started around the 1830s but the original discovery of chemical reactions eliciting different color pallets was from the French chemist Claude-Louis Berthollet in 1786. Additionally, the fireworks people recognize today, the ones that shoot into the air, called skyrocket fireworks, have been around since the 20th century.
Modern fireworks come in a lot of different forms and are created by using different colored pyrotechnic stars. The stars contain fuel, a binder, an oxidizer and color producing salts. The different ways that they’re combined and linked to each other create different kinds of fireworks. There are over 20 different kinds of fireworks commonly used that create all different kinds of effects from the cake, that contains a lot of Roman candles or small aerial shells, to the mine, a ground firework shot from a mortar.
Any way people decide to get ‘em, fireworks are exciting — and loud. A way to declare to anyone in your immediate vicinity that you are celebrating. However, one drawback is the way that fireworks may scare or harm pets. The Idaho Humane Society warns that the noises can put huge amounts of stress and anxiety onto a pet. They have different recommendations for owners to alleviate their pet’s anxiety during a fireworks display. People can find more information on their website, idahohumanesociety.org.