Fireworks Shopping Spree + Buying Guide for Parents: Top 10 fireworks of 2023

Note from the mamas: Happy Monday, mamas! It’s time for our annual Fireworks Shopping Spree, courtesy of our friends at Pinnacle Fireworks! At the end of this week, we’ll choose two shopping spree winners (at random).

The first winner will score a $100 shopping spree and TWO runner-ups will each win a $50 credit to spend at Pinnacle Fireworks, which you’ll notice when you’re on Interstate I-49 passing the Don Tyson Parkway exit (off exit 70). It’s the huge tent on the lot next to and slightly behind the Walmart Neighborhood Market. Pinnacle Fireworks is owned by local father-and-son team, Todd and Adam Keeley.

HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win one of the fireworks shopping sprees from Pinnacle Fireworks, scroll down to the bottom of this post (and past the comments posted by other moms) until you see the words “Leave a Reply.”

Then write a quick comment telling us which fireworks you want to try this year.

For fireworks suggestions, scroll down to check out the 2023 Fireworks Buying Guide written by our resident fireworks expert, Adam Keeley of Pinnacle Fireworks. Over to you, Adam!

2023 Fireworks Buying Guide

By Adam Keeley, 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 includes both ground items and 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 offer 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 to order ahead for curbside pickup! You are also welcome 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 tent – where 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. Pull-String Smoke Grenades

Retail Price $5.94

Pinnacle Price $2.97

Motherlode Price $2.67

Smoke balls are a staple at any 4th of July gathering, but it’s time to upgrade! These color smoke grenades are FUSELESS! That’s right – just pull the ring and the smoke starts billowing. No fiddling with lighters or punks! And not only do you get to choose your favorite colors, but these high-quality smoke grenades last up to 90 SECONDS long!  Click here for more info.

  1. Hero Fountains

Retail Price $15.94

Pinnacle Price $7.97

Motherlode Price $7.17

Who doesn’t love superheroes? Well, now you can choose your favorite hero label (carefully designed to avoid copyright infringement while keeping prices reasonable) in fountain form! Each lasts a minute long, and each one has a different unique performance! Click here for more info. 

  1. “Havana Heat” Long-Lasting Fountain

Retail Price $33.94

Pinnacle Price $16.97

Motherlode Price $15.27

This long-lasting fountain is a great value at the normal price, so it’s a SUPER value at the Motherlode price! Coming in at nearly 3 minutes long, it has every effect they could think of: multi-color pearls, shimmering sparks, crackling stars, and yes – even a few of those whistles that sound like a hawk soaring above! If you don’t mind a little noise, and you want a long-duration ground effects show, turn up the heat with Havana Heat! Click here for more info.

  1. Plastic Paratrooper

Retail Price $9.94

Pinnacle Price $4.97

Motherlode Price $4.47

Ahh, parachutes. A standard item in any shopping basket on Independence Day. The perfect item to keep the kids entertained before it gets dark. But we all know the kids prefer a prize hanging from their parachute rather than a cardboard tube, and what could be better than a real plastic army man? Kids are happy. Parents are happy. America is happy. Click here for more info. 


  1. 196-Shot Gangster Gun Roman Candle

Retail Price $40.00

Pinnacle Price $20.00

Motherlode Price $18.00

Now THIS is a Roman Candle! With a handy spike on one end to secure this device into the ground (though we still recommend placing this in a cinder block for added stability), this long cylinder launches 196 small but colorful neon color balls into the sky in rapid-fire fashion! The color balls don’t explode, so the noise level is minimal with only some mild crackling effects towards the end. Plus, you get a great price on this unique item! Click here for more info. 

Adam’s Recommendations

  1. My Favorite Fountain: Firewheel Fountain

Retail Price $50.00

Pinnacle Price $25.00

Motherlode Price $22.50

Here’s a little something different! This fountain has a spinning wheel attached to the side! The wheel goes first, spinning quickly and throwing sparks in every direction. Then the colors emerge: lemon and blue pearls, red strobes, blue stars, white strobes, and golden spider sparks! Click here for more info. 

  1. My Favorite Small Cake: Seek and Destroy (25 Shots)

Retail Price $50.00

Pinnacle Price $25.00

Motherlode Price $22.50

If you’ve been paying attention, you know I like unique items! And this one is no exception! Seek and Destroy launches a barrage of scrambling comets and zig and zag through the sky! Red, blue, and green tails transform into matching color comets that zoom into the sky in random directions! The chaos is beautiful, and with no loud booms, you can hear the comets sputter and zip through the air. This is one to remember! Click here for more info. 


  1. My Favorite Reloadable Artillery Shell Kit: “American Firepower” Cannister Shells 6-pack

Retail Price $80.00

Pinnacle Price $40.00

Motherlode Price $36.00

Definitely reserved for ages 16 and up, these single-shot shells launch from the included reloadable tube. If you want to put some red, white, and blue colors in the sky this 4th of July, this is the shell kit for you. Make no mistake – these are BIG and LOUD. Each shell launches into the sky with a satisfying “thunk,” then has an enormous burst with a combination of red, white, and blue effects. 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. 

SAFETY REMINDER: Always place the launch tube on a hard, flat surface and brace with bricks or similar heavy weight. Keep a safe distance from people, pets, and structures. Make sure you have overhead clearance. Only load and light one shell at a time and never load shells upside down. Questions? Just ask us!

  1. My Favorite 500-Gram Cake: Lady Liberty (9 Shots)

Retail Price $140


Pinnacle Price $49.50

Motherlode Price $54.00

Lady Liberty delivers 9 powerful shots of gold “Nishiki” willows. What’s a “Nishiki” willow? Simply the crowd-pleasing, long-hanging gold willows that all love! This one adds a patriotic bonus of red and blue stars with every burst! The first 6 shots fire individually, and a built-in finale fires the final 3 shots in rapid succession for an amazing finale item at a great price! Click here for more info. 

  1. My Favorite Sky-Filling Finale Firework: Victory Day (36 shots)

Retail Price $200.


Pinnacle Price $83.00

Motherlode Price $74.70

Victory Day features a 40-second performance that starts with 12 steady shots of alternating red, green, silver, and gold glitter breaks with a horsetail pistil. Then the fun really starts. It speeds up with 18 rapid-fire shots that lead to a 6-shot blast of silver tails to crackling breaks with delayed cracking pistils! Click here for more info.

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. Not sure how to use a certain item or what to expect after you light the fuse? Just ask us! We’re happy to help!

Pinnacle Fireworks is located at I-49 and W Don Tyson Parkway (Exit 70), behind Walmart Neighborhood Market on Jennifer Terrace. We are open June 28th – July 5th. Follow us on Facebook for special offers, updates, and lots of giveaways at Motherlode Mama discount is valid June 28th – July 4th.


  1. I would love to try a big one and of course sparklers and a fountain too

  2. This is great information! We like to do small, end of driveway, fireworks. 🙂 the Havana heat looks fun- I think we’ve done that one in the past & it was pretty.

  3. We have a dog so we’ve found it’s better for us to stay home and do our own quieter display like fountains and sparklers.

  4. I like to keep it low key – give me some cool smoke grenades – my son on the other hand wants every single one of these other ones so we can make an “absolutely explosive display” 😂

  5. My girls always enjoy parachutes- so I think they would the paratroopers! The pull string smoke grenades look fun too!

  6. I’d love to try the Seek and Destroy and Havana Heat. The paratroopers are nostalgic for me, too, so I’d have to get a few of those as well.

  7. Havana Heat and the fountain sound great! And I’m always up for a roman candle

  8. My kids always love the paratroopers! They love to try to catch them while they are coming back down to the ground! And I think we would love the Victory Day .. We host about 50 people on the 4th and have a HUGE fireworks show! Looking forward to it again this year!!

  9. I’d ask for ones that would reflect well over water as my grands live by a lake.

  10. I LOVE LOVE LOVE fireworks–this is my favorite holiday 🙂 In my opinion there is no WRONG firework, but the fountains seem to be my favorites to do ourselves. They seem safe, are colorful and stay on the ground. I know my boys will like the Gangster Gun, so we will have to try that out!

  11. My daughter likes fountains and low key stuff so she would enjoy Havana Heat and Firewheel Fountain

  12. I love fountains! I want to see the Havana Heat fountain and the Firewheel fountain!!!

  13. My kids are so excited to get fireworks this year and we always visit Pinnacle Fireworks. Their requests this year are smoke bombs and Victory Day!

  14. The Firewheel Fountain looks unique. I’ll definitely be picking that one up.

  15. We love fountains and every year we look for the newest ones and always try them.

  16. Who doesn’t love a grand fireworks finale, so count us and our grandkids in for Victory Day!

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