However, if you really want some serious firepower, go to any Indian reservation and the heavy duty stuff is readily available, like mortars, large and heavy cakes, large Roman candles, firecrackers, and if you know the right way to ask at the right booth, M-80's and half sticks of dynamite. The State Patrol really doesn't do much to enforce the ban on these so-called "illegal" fireworks, because there is no way to enforce it. They cannot possibly stop every car traveling on the Puyallup Reservation on River Road, this being my fave stand b/c the name and illustration crack me up....
.... or on the Auburn-Enumclaw Highway going thru the Muckleshoot reservation. Before the Puyallups built their monstrous Emerald Queen Casino, it used to be a large vacant lot which transformed itself each June into "Firecracker Alley" with hundreds of stands.
Brian, being a boy at heart, got really caught up in having as many boomies as possible. We'd hear the sound of firecrackers and bottle rockets during the day and he'd spring up out of his chair, look out the window and go, "THEY'RE PUNKIN' ME OUT!", then dash outside and light off a string of 100 firecrackers. I would actually start saving money in January, a little out of every paycheck, to cover our boomie expense come July 2nd or 3rd when we'd go shopping.
Our most expensive year, and what was actually one of our final years buying fireworks, was 2002. This is the stuff we got on the Puyallup res:
The "Predator" package contains mortars. There's a launch tube inside that you put on the driveway w/ weights to keep it from tipping over, then you light the mortar ball, drop it in the tube and it shoots high in the air, with multi colored explosions and effects. Just think of a professional firework but just on a smaller scale. We'd usually light those off last, when it was finally pitch dark at 11:00 pm. Our driveway is such a fantastic launch spot, because of the openness, but we always kept garden hoses at the ready both in the front and back yard.
This is the stuff we bought at the TNT stand in town, after we left the res. As you can see, the "safe and sane" items are much smaller than what you get on the res. Still, many of our fave cakes came from the TNT stand, so it made a nice mix of legal and illegal. Or Ill-Eagle.
Here's a pic of the combined items. I should have taken a photo on July 5th of the huge mess in our driveway, especially teeny bits of paper that stayed around through the winter months. And lots of parachutes or bottle rockets on our roof too.