EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Every year people all over the country turn out to towns and cities, big and small, for free fireworks shows.
But for some, having a hand in what, where and when you see it is what the fun is all about.
There are several local and state laws about buying and using fireworks. First, fireworks tents are licensed to sell all kinds of products. But what you find in the tent depends on where it is.
"In the city limits you can't sell anything that shoots in the air but technically we're in the Town of Washington, so we can sell things that shoot into the air," said Adam Radosevich with Freedom Fireworks.
Now, here is where things can get more complicated. Even though you can buy it -- does not mean you can use it.
Wisconsin law says it is okay to use things like small sparklers, toy snakes, and stationary cones. But things like bottle rockets, roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal to set off unless you have a permit.
"Anything as a rule of thumb, anything that's aerial or shoots into the sky are fireworks we want you to stay away from," said Officer Kyle Roder with the Eau Claire Police Department.
Then there are some local ordinances. Some cities and counties have stricter rules about which fireworks are allowed to be used.
"Again, look at the laws and understand what the laws are," Roder said.
Roder says they have a limited number of officers and try to get to as many complaints as they can.
And if you are not tied down to your own fireworks, Roder says the best way to play it safe is to wait a few days for the biggest fireworks show in town.