July 4: when you travel just to buy your fireworks

July 4

Traffic jams in New York and New Jersey are legendary before July 4: residents drive for hours to neighboring Pennsylvania or Vermont, not for the sake of traveling but in order to buy their fireworks. The maximum fine of possessing firecrackers in NYC can be of up to $250. If the fireworks are valued over $50 the offense gets a $500 fine. And New Jersey’s laws are even tougher: the penalty is up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

But the system has surrealistic loopholes: purchases are illegal for state residents, but not for residents of other states. So shops near the border of a forbidding state or county are the luckiest: it’s all about location.
There will be over 14,000 displays all over the country.

For many small businesses, Independence Day is their cash injection for the year: on average, each person celebrating will spend around 300 dollars on this long weekend between travel, food and entertainment, according to Visa’s annual Independence Day spending survey. This is 60% more than last year. A major firework display in the area adds up to the business.

About the Author

Ana Fuentes
Columnist for El País and a contributor to SER (Sociedad Española de Radiodifusión), was the first editor-in-chief of The Corner. Currently based in Madrid, she has been a correspondent in New York, Beijing and Paris for several international media outlets such as Prisa Radio, Radio Netherlands or CNN en español. Ana holds a degree in Journalism from the Complutense University in Madrid and the Sorbonne University in Paris, and a Master's in Journalism from Spanish newspaper El País.

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