I grew up in the south, and while not all of the stereotypes are accurate, many are, including big love for fireworks and 'Merica on the 4th. There are several different firework locations in permanent buildings throughout the south that are open all year long.

Growing up, we couldn't wait to see all of the firework tents go up around the outskirts of town. We would save up our allowance and then have our folks drive us around so we could find the best deals. Finally, when the day came for the big purchase, it was like Christmas in July.

Now keep in mind, this was back in the 80s and things were different back then.  Parents were a little more laid back, and most of them had no idea where their kid was half the time.

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Ahh, the good 'ole days.

I'll be honest, now that I'm older and without kids, I haven't bought fireworks in a number of years.  In fact, I couldn't even tell you what's cool nowadays, but I can certainly tell you what was cool back then. So without further ado, here are my Top 5 Greatest Fireworks Ever:

Fireworks for the Fourth of July
Getty Images Michael Smith / Staff
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Black Cat Firecrackers

There are several different types of firecrackers, but the ultimate firecracker back in the 80s was Black Cat Firecrackers.  They were a little more costly, but that didn't matter. The excitement that you felt after you set off a whole package and watched and listened as they all exploded was certainly worth the extra coin.

Bottle Rockets

I can't tell you the number of hours of pure joy that we had with bottle rockets growing up. I also can't tell you some of the things that we did with them, as that would not be responsible on my part. However, some of my fondest memories of youth were hanging with my friends and shooting bottle rockets.

Fireworks for the Fourth of July
Getty Images Michael Smith / Staff
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Roman Candles

Once again, it would not be responsible of me to go into detail here.  Having said that, Roman Candles were an absolute blast (literally) back in the day and from a visual standpoint, very impressive.

M-80s

It's my understanding that you can no longer buy M-80s unless you have some sort of federal license, and to be honest, that's probably a good idea. I'm not a big fan of the whole "wear a helmet" generation, but in this case, I believe it's warranted. However, there was a time that you could and it was glorious.

Smoke Bombs

Smoke Bombs were literally the bomb back in the day.  Once again, as a child of the 80s, we spend a whole lot of time outside and we would play "GI Joe" which basically was war.  There were good guys and bad guys and one of the coolest things you could do was throw a smoke bomb to distract the other guys from finding you. So, buying a bunch of smoke bombs was a must back in the day.

New Year's Fireworks Sales Begin
Getty Images Sean Gallup / Staff
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For those Montanans that are looking to have fun with fireworks this 4th of July, make sure you're aware of the times that fireworks will be allowed.  Be safe out there and by all means, have a very happy 4th, and God Bless America!

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