2020 Fireworks Buying Guide for Parents: Top 10 List!

Editor’s note: Back by popular demand, our Northwest Arkansas fireworks expert, Adam Keeley, has given us an updated Top 10 List of the best fireworks for 2020. So now you’ll know what to look for or ask for when you shop! AND… you’ll know what to expect those fireworks to actually do when you light them up for July 4th. 

Demand for consumer fireworks is higher this year because more people are doing their own fireworks shows at home in order to avoid crowds. So Adam recommends that you shop early (before July 3rd) because about 70% of fireworks sales happen by that date. You can do online ordering and curbside pickup this year. Be sure to mention nwaMotherlode in order to receive an additional discount on your order.  (For online orders, use the coupon code PYROMAMA). Happy shopping, mamas!

By Adam Keeley, owner of Pinnacle Fireworks

The number one frustration I hear from fireworks shoppers is, “I don’t know what any of these fireworks do! How do I know what to buy?” Over the past few years, fireworks manufacturers have gotten better about putting performance descriptions on their products. However, sometimes the descriptions leave something to be desired. So, unless you know the difference between Titanium Crackle Rain and Variegated Peonies with Lemon Pistils, you might as well be reading an alien language. If you shop at Pinnacle Fireworks, our knowledgeable staff will answer all your questions and help you choose the perfect items to fit your show and your budget. But in case you accidentally find yourself in some other fireworks tent, here are a few tips that will help you shop for fireworks with the confidence of a true Pyro Parent!

Fireworks Basics

There are two main categories of fireworks: ground effects and aerial effects. Whether you’re shooting fireworks with your kids or on your own, it’s important to know the difference! An easy way to tell whether an item contains ground effects or aerial effects is to read the warning label found on the item. Ground items will read “Emits Showers of Sparks,” while aerial items will read “Shoots Flaming Balls” or “Shoots Flaming Balls with Reports” (“Report” is the industry word for “explosion,” meaning the item will burst into a colorful explosion or simply “pop” or “bang”). Some labels will give even more detailed warnings, such as “Spins on Ground and Shoots Upwards.” Understanding these caution labels will give you a general idea of what to expect after you light the fuse.

Some examples of ground items are lower-cost kid favorites such as smoke balls, tanks, and fountains. But be sure to note that some fountains can shoot sparks up to twenty-five in the air. Aerial items can reach much greater heights (over 150 feet for some larger fireworks). Examples of aerial fireworks include reloadable artillery shell kits, roman candles, and multi-shot cakes.

So before you go shopping, you should have a general idea of the type of fireworks show you want to create – from a dialed-down driveway display to a rock-the-block pyrotechnic performance. Like most folks, you’ll probably want something in the middle, which means a nice mix of ground effects and aerial fireworks that won’t break the bank. This list focuses on ground items, but it also includes a few aerial fireworks for those that want to take their show to the next level. Items 1-5 are some great inexpensive items that are a great value, and items 6-10 are my personal favorites from a few different categories.

** For your convenience and comfort, you can now visit www.PinnacleFireworks.com to order ahead for curbside pickup! You are also welcomed to come visit our 4,000 square-foot open air tent to shop in person! ** 

I’ve included three prices on each item:

1) The retail price.

2) The price at the Pinnacle Fireworks tentwhere every item is 50% off retail!

3) The price Motherlode readers will enjoy with their discount. That’s right – the Motherlode 10% discount stacks with the 50% off retail discount! (For online orders, enter coupon code PYROMAMA at checkout. For onsite purchases, just ask for the Motherlode discount at checkout).

Budget Friendly Fireworks

  1. Sky Team Flying Spinner

Retail Price $5.94

Pinnacle Price $2.97

Motherlode Price $2.67

Avengers assemble! Everyone’s favorite heroes are ready for action this Independence Day! But you’ll be the real hero when your kiddos get to pick out their favorite character, whether it’s Captain America, Spider Man, the Hulk, or others! Place these awesome little guys on a large, hard, and flat surface (like a parking lot or street) and watch as they spin on the ground with a bright red energy glow and warrior-cry whistle. After a few seconds, a powerful cone of red sparks sends them soaring into the sky in an impressive launch that would make Iron Man himself proud. They climb through the air to an incredible height, inspiring cheers from Avengers fans big and small! Click here for more info on the Sky Team Flying Spinner. 

  1. Glow Sparklers – Cool Spark Sparklers with Built-in Glow Stick!

Retail Price $9.94

Pinnacle Price $4.97

Motherlode Price $4.47

Do you remember the AMAZING “cool spark” sparklers we introduced last year? They burn and throw out sparks just like a normal sparkler, but even though the flame at the tip of the sparkler is still hot, the silvery sparks that emerge are not! I didn’t believe it until I put my own hand under the shower of sparks, and it felt like someone sprinkling sand on my palm! This year, we’ve replaced the paper handle with a glow stick! Double the safety, double the fun! Be sure to add this 8-pack to your shopping list, and grab some for the neighbor kids too! Click here for more info on Glow Sparklers.  

  1. Zen Garden

Retail Price $5.94

Pinnacle Price $2.97

Motherlode Price $2.67

Everyone loves to watch the pretty colored sparks of a fireworks fountain dance in the night air. But how many times has your heart skipped a beat when a high-pitched whistle catches you by surprise? Or what about the intense crackling noise that sometimes startles the little ones who aren’t yet used to fireworks? At Pinnacle Fireworks, we pride ourselves in our product knowledge. We hand-pick every item we sell, and we won’t carry an item unless we’ve seen it perform. And once we found the Zen Garden fountains, we knew they would be a favorite for moms and dads with little ones. These fountains are completely free of loud sounds, making them perfect for kiddos who are new to watching fireworks or for anyone wanting to put on a beautiful yet silent show. With four varieties to choose from, you’ll be sure to find your inner peace with Zen Garden! Click here for more info on Zen Garden.

  1. Knight Stick (240 shots)

Retail Price $27.94

Pinnacle Price $13.97

Motherlode Price $12.57

This is a giant roman candle that launches 240 shots of colorful firework “pearls” into the sky! It earns bonus points since it has a built-in plastic ground spike. Plus, this one is another favorite for kids that don’t like loud fireworks, because the Knight Stick has some soft “pops” but no loud booms! With all these great features at a bargain price, it’s easy to see why this is always one of  our best selling roman candles! Click here for more info on the Knight Stick.

  1. Cotton Candy Fountain

Retail Price $43.94

Pinnacle Price $21.97

Motherlode Price $19.77

Standing at nearly a foot tall, this big summer treat is sure to be a favorite for the whole family! The colorful packaging hints at what’s inside, as this long-lasting fountain (nearly a minute and a half!) features multicolor pearls, tall sprays of soft glitter sparks, and intense crackling (noise alert)! Also look for the new Cotton Candy Mini, a smaller version of this great fountain! Click here for more info on the Cotton Candy Fountain.

Adam’s Recommendations

  1. My Favorite Fountain: Centrifuge

Retail Price $43.94

Pinnacle Price $21.97

Motherlode Price $19.77

Sit down and hold on for Centrifuge! This futuristic fountain starts with tons of Chrysanthemums which give way to massive titanium crackling. Then WATCH OUT as the sideways thrusters kick into overdrive. The entire fountain starts to spin at speeds that will make your knees buckle. Centrifuge ends with dizzying showers of sparks shooting in all directions. Click here for more info about the Centrifuge Fountain. 

  1. My Favorite Small Cake: Loyal To All 25-Shot

Retail Price $39.94

Pinnacle Price $19.97

Motherlode Price $17.97

This little guy won’t let you down! It has 25 shots of beautiful long-duration golden willows, and each shot lifts into the air with a tail golden spray of sparks, creating a double level effect not often found in a small cake. Click here for more info about the Loyal to All 25-Shot Firework Cake. 

  1. My Favorite Reloadable Artillery Shell Kit: Nishiki Blast Cannister Shells

Retail Price $73.94

Pinnacle Price $36.97

Motherlode Price $33.27

Definitely reserved for ages 16 and up, these single-shot shells launch from a reusable tube. “Nishiki” is a Japanese word used to describe one of my favorite effects, the beautiful and long-lasting gold willow. Make no mistake – these are BIG and LOUD. Each shell has an enormous burst of color that changes to hundreds of golden branches that drift slowly downward from the sky. This effect is usually found only in professional shells, but we tracked down a consumer version for our customers. Plus, this max-load 60-gram shell comes in a budget-friendly 6-pack, meaning the artillery shell lover in your family can get professional-style shells without breaking the bank. Click here for more info about the Nishiki Blast Cannister Shells.

  1. My Favorite 500-Gram Cake: Glitter Bomb 12-Shot

Retail Price $109.94

Pinnacle Price $34.97

Motherlode Price $31.47

Saddle up for this big bangin’, ground shakin’ Glitter Bomb! This pony ride features breathtaking glittering tails to huge bursts of purple, green, yellow, red, and blue dahlias. Every shot mixes with gold or silver glitter to light up the night sky. A 3 shot finale makes a lasting impression. Glitter EVERYWHERE. Click here for more info about the Glitter Bomb 12-Shot. 

  1. My Favorite Sky-Filling Finale Firework: Jellyfish King 9-Shot

Retail Price $260

Pinnacle Price $130

Motherlode Price $117

If you are looking for a unique, professional style firework that no one else on your block will have, check out the brand-new 500-gram, 9-shot Jellyfish King. If you’ve watched a professional firework show in the last year or two, you’ve probably seen two-dimensional smiley-faces, hearts, rings, and maybe a few other “shaped firework” effects. But for the first time ever in a consumer firework, the industry has designed a massive 3-D jellyfish effect, complete with dangling tentacles! Jellyfish King has nine individual 3” tubes that are fused together and mounted to a thick plywood base. Light the fuse and get back. No, even farther back! Now get ready for the craziest thing you’ve ever seen from a firework as each 3” shell transforms into a different color 3-D jellyfish right before your eyes! The sky becomes an ocean as swarming fish zig zag in multiple directions down low while massive jellyfish appear up high, their tentacles dangling towards the ground! You’ve never seen anything like the Jellyfish King! Click here for more information about the Jellyfish King 9-Shot finale firework. 

Honorable Mention: Victory Celebration 37-Shot

Retail Price $35.94

Pinnacle Price $17.97

Motherlode Price $16.17

Keep the kids entertained while the sun is still out with Victory Celebration, a multi-shot cake that fills the daytime sky with 37 shots of parachutes! Kids love chasing parachutes as they float to the ground. Light this one in a wide-open space away from trees and buildings. Parachutes are easiest to catch in low wind conditions. Click here for more info about the Victory Celebration 37-Shot. 

SAFETY TIP: Never stand over an item when you light the fuse, just in case the fuse burns faster than you expect. Stay low and light from the side, leaving yourself plenty of distance to retreat after you light the fuse.

Pinnacle Fireworks is located at I-49 and W Don Tyson Parkway (Exit 70), behind Walmart Neighborhood Market on Jennifer Terrace. (It’s NOT the one in the Walmart parking lot; go past Walmart to the lot behind it on the left.) We are open June 28th – July 5th. Follow us on Facebook for special offers, updates, and lots of giveaways at www.facebook.com/PinnacleFireworks. Motherlode Mama discount valid June 28th – July 4th.