With county fairs coming up all around the country, many people are excited for rides, games, and deep fried foods on a stick. Whether you’re planning a fun day with your kids or having an adult excursion, there is simply no substitute for a day at the carnival. In some regions, there are monster truck shows and live music to compliment the traditional fun. However, some places take things a step further and encourage using sparklers at a county fair. But is this a safe idea? Is it legal to do in the first place? Let’s take a look at all of the factors surrounding this concept and break down the do’s and don’ts.
Is it Safe to Use Sparklers at a County Fair?
The most important thing people ask is whether or not it’s safe to use them at this type of event. Fairs are notorious for rowdy people that have had a couple of beers, and they are often extremely crowded. With so many people in a tightly packed space, it’s only natural to have reservations. In order to be safe, they can only be used responsibly in specific situations. Additionally, you should always follow the normal sparkler safety guidelines in any given situation.
First off, they need to be approved for use by the hosts of the event. You should never use sparklers at a county fair without the direct approval of the people in charge. Things like safety equipment and official supervision are necessary for it to be safe. Additionally, things like drought conditions and the type of location it is being held at can play a major safety role. Overall, you should only consider this activity safe if sparklers are allowed and you feel confident that they are creating a responsible environment for their use.
Best Ways to Use Sparklers at a County Fair
Once you feel comfortable with using them safely, you can focus on the way you want to use your sparklers. There are only certain types of activities where they are appropriate, so I’ve created a list to help you decide what’s right for you. Here are my 5 favorite activities to make the most of your experience.
Live Music Show
Concerts and live music events are a great time to use sparklers at a county fair. Most people are familiar with pyrotechnics being used on stage, but they can also be a great activity for the spectators. However, before using sparklers at a music concert, you need to make sure the conditions are right. Ideally, they should only be used at seated events for safety. Moreover, they should only be used at a designated time. If all the conditions are right, it can be a great way to garner crowd participation and increase the energy level of the live music show.
Many of these carnivals hosted during the month of July, so it isn’t uncommon for a fireworks display to be part of the itinerary. Just like on the 4th of July, sparklers can be a fun way to take part in a professionally executed fireworks display. Typically, there will be a viewing area for families to put down a blanket to watch the show. This is a great place to use them safely and make the experience much more exciting.
Demolition derbies are one of the most enjoyed activities at county fairs. Most fairgrounds have a grandstand with various activities planned; including demolition derbies. Since everyone is seated in the bleachers during the show, it is also a safe time to use sparklers with permission. However, you need to make sure the emergency crews on site have approved them first. There can be a lot of gasoline and other potentially dangerous fumes in the air, so timing this activity is critical to keep things safe.
Birthday parties are always a big deal, but they are even more fun when they coincide with your local county fair! If you are lucky enough to be hosting a birthday during that time frame, there are some easy ways to utilize sparklers. However, the most common method is to put sparklers on a birthday cake instead of the regular candles most people use. This is also one of the safest ways to use them since they are placed on the cake and not being used in a crowded spot. If you are celebrating a birthday at a nearby carnival, this is one of the best ways to go.
End of the Fair
The final day of any festival is bittersweet. Most likely, you’ve spent a bunch of money and stuffed your face with all the fried foods and sweets your body can handle. However, it’s also sad to know that you’ll need to wait another full year before you can do it all over again. To commemorate it, consider doing a “closing ceremony” by lighting a few sparklers with your friends and family. It’s an easy way to use sparklers at a county fair, and it will likely become a yearly tradition for events in the future.
Should You Bring Your Own Sparklers to the County Fair?
Most of the time, sparklers will be provided is they are allowed for a particular carnival. However, there are times when they are offered for sale instead of handed out; and that is when bringing your own can be beneficial. But, before you do this, you need to check the rules of the fair to see if bringing them from home is prohibited. Usually, there isn’t an official policy and you can bring them from home without any issues. However, some venues ban this practice to eliminate homemade sparklers from being used that can be extremely dangerous. As long as they are allowed, you can likely save a lot of money by getting them from somewhere cheaper than the vendor stand at the park.
What are the Safest Types of Sparklers for Crowded Places?
Using sparklers in a crowded place is always riskier than in an open area. Since they emit sparks, it can create real problems if you are in very tight quarters. However, if you choose the right version and use them responsibly, they can still be extremely safe to enjoy. If you are going to be using them in a highly congested area, I suggest choosing sparklers for weddings since they are built with that purpose in mind. The sparks are kept in much more defined area, and they are built very sturdy to prevent flaking apart or dropping hot pieces. Furthermore, they won’t create smoke that could leave to poor air quality when used in large groups. Overall, they are the perfect choice for any crowded area. This is because they eliminate most of the problematic features associated with lesser quality versions.
What are the Legal Implications for Using Sparklers at a County Fair?
As is the case with many things, each state has its own fireworks laws. Before you consider lighting up sparklers at a county fair, you need to be aware of the rules and regulations in that jurisdiction. However, if the fair officials have deemed then to be acceptable, you shouldn’t have any issues from a legal standpoint.
The main risk you can encounter is if you bring them in without permission. This can open you up to all sorts of legal scrutiny for a wide variety of reasons. First, you may be breaking the law by simply possessing them. Next, you may be in violation of the rules if you use them without permission. Lastly, you could be held liable if you cause an injury or destroy property by starting a fire. For all these reasons, you should never consider it without implicit permission from the governing body of the event.
Should You Participate or Skip Them All Together?
At the end of the day, the decision to participate in using sparklers at a county fair is a personal choice. As I mentioned, you need to be sure they are allowed by the venue before you even consider it. Furthermore, you need to be aware of the personal risks involved, as well as the potential legal ramifications at stake. For instance, it’s completely legal to use sparklers in Florida on certain days of the year. However, those dates may not line up with your local carnival schedule. By taking all the factors into account, you can ensure a fun, safe, and legal experience at your local festival. Good luck and enjoy the fair!