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'A very exciting development for patriotic pyros like myself': Mike Polk Jr. on Ohio's new fireworks laws

'Enjoy your newfound extremely specific firework freedoms, my fellow Ohioans, and have a terrific Fourth of July.'

CLEVELAND — We made it!

Today is the first day Ohioans are legally allowed to set off fireworks on our own property, or someone else's property (if they give me permission). This is a very exciting development for patriotic pyros like myself, and I had planned to celebrate my newfound freedom by blowing some stuff up in my yard.

But then I learned that there are a few minor stipulations to the law that could complicate things. First and foremost, there's a provision allowing cities to opt out of their recently-acquired liberty, and you'll notice that a few chose to do just that.

Here's a partial list:

  • Akron
  • Amherst
  • Avon Lake
  • Barberton
  • Bay Village
  • Bedford
  • Bedford Heights
  • Berea
  • Brecksville
  • Broadview Heights
  • Brook Park
  • Brunswick
  • Cleveland
  • Cleveland Heights
  • Cuyahoga Falls
  • Eastlake
  • Euclid
  • Fairport Harbor
  • Highland Heights
  • Independence
  • Lakewood
  • Lyndhurst
  • Madison Township
  • Mayfield
  • Mayfield Heights
  • Medina
  • Mentor
  • Mentor-on-the-Lake
  • Middleburg Heights
  • Mogadore
  • Munroe Falls
  • Newburgh Heights
  • North Olmsted
  • North Royalton
  • Oakwood
  • Oberlin
  • Orange Village
  • Parma
  • Parma Heights
  • Perry Village
  • Pepper Pike
  • Richfield Village
  • Richmond Heights
  • Rocky River
  • Seven Hills
  • Shaker Heights
  • Silver Lake
  • South Euclid
  • Springfield Township
  • Strongsville
  • Tallmadge
  • Toledo
  • Twinsburg
  • University Heights
  • Upper Arlington
  • Vandalia
  • Vermilion
  • Wadsworth
  • Warrensville Heights
  • Westlake
  • Wickliffe
  • Willoughby
  • Willoughby Hills
  • Worthington

Et tu, Brunswick? I thought we could at least count on you. You're like the Texas of Northeast Ohio!

Now, let's take a look at a list of all the cities I found that have not opted out of the new law:

  • Fairview Park
  • Hudson
  • Huron
  • Maple Heights
  • Olmsted Falls
  • Painesville
  • Wooster
  • Youngstown

I think we can agree: much shorter, but there are additional stipulations. 

The State Fire Marshal says Ohioans in cities where fireworks are allowed can discharge consumer-grade fireworks on the following days:

  • July 3, 4, and 5, and the weekends immediately before and after, from 4-11 p.m.
  • Labor Day weekend from 4-11 p.m.
  • Diwali, the Festival of Lights that is celebrated by Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs, from 4-11 p.m.
  • New Year's Eve from 4-11:59 p.m.
  • New Year's Day from midnight-1 a.m. and 4-11 p.m.
  • Chinese New Year from 4-11 p.m.
  • Cinco de Mayo from 4-11 p.m.
  • Memorial Day weekend from 4-11 p.m.
  • Juneteenth from 4-11 p.m.

So for non-Olmsted Fallsians, if you want to keep things street legal, it's going to be another tragic year of celebrating our nation's hard-fought independence using unimpressive, totally legal, grocery store, checkout-line pseudo-fireworks that are for little babies. But, I figured the least I could do was offer our viewers the definitive ranking of lousy, lame, legal fireworks—just watch the video in the player above for my full demonstration and breakdown.

There ya have it, folks. Did we have some fun here today? Not really, but did we break any laws? No, we did not.

Enjoy your newfound extremely specific firework freedoms, my fellow Ohioans, and have a terrific Fourth of July.

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