What’s a ‘Sparkling Device’ & Are They Illegal in Middletown, NY?
Some say yes, others say no...UGH!
If you've spent any time driving around the Hudson Valley over the last few weeks you've probably already noticed that the familiar white tents have gone up in parking lots all over the place. The white tents are something that we have come to expect this time of year as they are the place to get your fireworks in time for the July 4th holiday. There are tents in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and Newburgh to name a few, but there is one place that won't be welcoming the selling or buying of any sparkling devices.
What is a "Sparkling Device"?
Just like they sound, they are either handheld or ground-based devices that once ignited produce a shower of colored flames and/or colored sparks. Some also make a crackling or whistling noise when lit. Sparkling devices seem to be less loud and explosive than some of the fireworks we see at some of the bigger displays across the Hudson Valley.
After mentioning on our radio show that seeing the white tents up all over the place we got a text from Paul in Middletown, "one place you won't be able to buy or use any fireworks is in the City of Middletown. They are PROHIBITED!"
I guess back in 2014, Orange County legalized sparkling devices, but in 2015 the city of Middletown opted out and prohibited anyone from selling or buying them within the city. According to Middletown's website, "No person shall possess, sell, detonate, light, or in any way use any type of fireworks, dangerous fireworks or sparkling devices as defined in Section 270.00 of the Penal Law in the City of Middletown. It shall not be a defense to prosecution of this section that the subject fireworks, dangerous fireworks or sparkling device was purchased legally."
We received numerous messages from listeners who told us that sparkling devices are on sale at Walmart and ShopRite in Middletown. Wait, WHAT? Why must things be so confusing...LOL! It's unclear what's legal, but one thing we do know is...
What Fireworks are Illegal
Fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners, and aerial devices, are illegal in the entire state of New York. The sale and use of sparking devices are prohibited in the following counties according to News 10,
New York County
Orange County (prohibited in Middletown and Newburgh only)
I think the best advice we have is to leave the fireworks and sparkling devices to the experts and check out one of the many professional fireworks displays happening all over the Hudson Valley. Find a location near you on our interactive fireworks map here.