Last summer we introduced you to what we think has quickly become the best fireworks tent in Northwest Arkansas. Local father and son team Todd and Adam Keeley own Pinnacle Fireworks, which you’ll notice when you’re on Interstate I-49 passing the Don Tyson Parkway exit (which is exit 70). Pinnacle Fireworks is the giant, 4,000-square foot tent you see from the road, next to the Walmart Neighborhood Market.Not only is Pinnacle Fireworks a website sponsor, the owners also gave a $150 Fireworks Shopping Spree to one of our readers last summer. Great news — We’re doing it again this week! One local mama will shop using a $150 store credit to choose the fireworks she and her family like best. (Instructions for how to throw your name in the online hat to win the shopping spree are below the Fireworks Shopping Guide.)
Regardless of whether or not you win this week’s shopping spree for $150 worth of fireworks, Pinnacle Fireworks is offering ALL of our Motherlode readers a 10 percent discount on regularly-priced fireworks. Be sure to ask for the “Motherlode Mama Discount” when you check out.
You’ll probably see fireworks guru Adam Keeley there when you shop. He knows SO MUCH about these products, so be sure to ask for pointers if you want to try something new this year. Adam and his wife Gabrielle are parents to daughter, Reagan, and they’ve also served as foster parents for kids ranging in age from 3 to 17 years old.
As you can see in the series of photos below, fireworks have been a BIG deal in the Keeley family for a long time. The photo on the left shows Adam and his dad, Todd, at their first fireworks tent in 2005. The center photo is another picture of the father-son team from a fireworks demo this spring. And the picture on the right is a shot of Adam and his wife and daughter at yet another fireworks demo this month! This family KNOWS their fireworks!
Since Adam LOVES all things fireworks, we asked him to put together a Top 10 list of his best fireworks recommendations for 2018. As moms, we know how frustrating it can be to go to a fireworks tent and not really know which fireworks to choose. The packaging doesn’t always explain what that firework will do once the fuse is lit. Which big fireworks are worth the price tag? Which ones are the most budget-friendly but are still fun for kids?
So here’s a handy shopping guide with one expert’s recommendations on how to get the most “bang for your buck.” (Find details about how to enter to win the $150 Fireworks Shopping Spree under Adam’s recommendations below.)
By Adam Keeley, local dad, fireworks enthusiast and 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 staff will answer all your questions and help you choose 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!
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 feet 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 good value, and items 6-10 are my personal favorites from a few different categories.
Below 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. (The Motherlode 10% discount stacks with the 50% off retail discount!)
Budget Friendly Fireworks (Items 1 thru 5)
1. Cracklin’ Crawfish Fountain
- Retail Price: $2.98
- Pinnacle Price: $1.49
- Motherlode Price: $1.34
This tiny fountain only has one effect – crackle. And it has a duration of nearly 3 minutes! The crackle can get pretty intense, so if your kids don’t like the rapid popping sound of crackle, you may consider skipping this one.
2. Texas Sword and Warrior Princess Sword
- Retail Price: $9.94
- Pinnacle Price: $4.97
- Motherlode Price: $4.47
Think of these awesome swords as a mix between a small fountain and a giant sparkler. I love this item because, since the colorful sparks emerge from a small fountain at the tip of the sword, it keeps the sparks over two feet away from the person holding it. It starts as a red fountain, switches to a silver fountain, and then produces red, yellow, purple, and green stars. When it’s all over, the kids have a toy sword to play with, which makes it an even better value.
3. Neon Color Smoke Balls (12 pack)
- Retail Price: $5.94
- Pinnacle Price: $2.97
- Motherlode Price: $2.67
Don’t forget this kid favorite! Twelve neon colored smoke balls pour out clouds of colorful smoke! Perfect for daytime use when the kids get antsy waiting for the sun to set. No loud booms, just pretty colors at a pretty price!
- 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 because it has a built-in plastic ground spike. Plus, this one is a favorite for kids that don’t like loud fireworks, because the Knight Stick has some soft “pops” but no loud booms.
5. Giant Snow Cone Fountain
- Retail Price: $39.94
- Pinnacle Price: $19.97
- Motherlode Price: $17.97
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 multi-color pearls, tall sprays of soft glitter sparks, and intense crackling.
Adam’s Recommendations (Items 6 thru 10)
6. My Favorite Fountain: Jumping Jelly Beans
- Retail Price: $21.94
- Pinnacle Price: $10.97
- Motherlode Price: $9.87
Looking for something unique? Jumping Jelly Beans spews out lava-like droplets in a variety of neon colors. If you liked 2017’s Mad Scientist, then you’ll love Jumping Jelly Beans. It has more colors and longer-lasting effects but still at the same low price. The blues, oranges, greens, purples, reds, and yellows last for a full minute. This effect is always a crowd favorite!
Pro-Tip: If possible, elevate this fountain on a sturdy, stable surface such as a small metal table before lighting. This allows the colorful droplets to burn longer as they fall all the way to the ground, filling more of the viewing area with color and making for a better show.
7. My Favorite Small Cake: Evil Enemy 36-Shot
- Retail Price: $39.94
- Sale Price: $37.94
- Pinnacle Price $18.97
- Motherlode Price $17.07
This 36-shot 200-gram cake from Brothers Pyrotechnics is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Red, green, and blue tails burst into big silvery spinners in the sky. And just when you think it’s over, the final shots alternate between red and green palms with a strobing glitter effect that looks like fireflies in the sky.
8. My Favorite Reloadable Artillery Shell Kit: Canister Shells
- Retail price $59.94 retail
- Pinnacle Price: $29.97
- Motherlode Price: $26.97
Definitely reserved for ages 16 and up, these single-shot shells launch from a reusable tube. They rival professional grade effects in terms of height, size, and noise. Each shell contains up to 60 grams of powder, making these very loud with enormous effects. Available in 6-, 12-, and 24-packs in several varieties and sizes. Some of the favorites shown below are called “Maxd Out,” “Pyro Predator,” “Quest,” and “Just Neon.”
9. My Favorite 500-Gram Cake: Summer Cocktail 25-Shot
- Retail Price: $111.94
- Pinnacle Price: $55.97
- Motherlode Price: $50.37
500-gram cakes are fireworks shows in a box, and they’re the biggest consumer-grade firework you can buy. Each of Summer Cocktail’s 25 shots erupts with a spray of crackling stars as it travels high into the sky and then bursts into an explosion of super-bright NEON colors. A built-in finale at the end will draw cheers from the crowd. Don’t miss this one!
10. My Favorite Sky-Filling Finale Firework: M.O.A.B. 9-Shot
- Retail Price: $299.94
- Pinnacle Price: $149.97
- Motherlode Price: $134.97
If you are looking for a show-stopping firework that will make the neighbors put out their punks and go home, you need this 500-gram 9-Shot Plate known as the Mother of All Bombs, or M.O.A.B. Known last year as “Nuclear Sunrise,” the packaging has been given a fresh look and new name.
Nine individual 3” tubes 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 largest fireworks display you’ve ever seen outside a professional show. If you love the giant gold willows you’ve seen at the professional shows, now you can have the same effect as part of your backyard show.
Each shot bursts into hundreds of extremely long-lasting gold glitter trails that hang in the sky as they float downward. The last three shots are a built-in jaw-dropping finale. Save this one for the end!
Bargain Hunter’s Tip: This same effect is also available in a smaller size (and smaller price) in an item called Nishiki Bomb.
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.
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.
Thank you to Adam Keeley for his help in developing a fireworks shopping guide for local parents! (We’re bookmarking this list!) If you’d like in-person shopping help (and to snag the Motherlode Mamas discount) go by Pinnacle Fireworks anytime between June 28th and July 5th. It’s located at I-49 and W Don Tyson Parkway (Exit 70), next to Walmart Neighborhood Market.
For special offers, updates, and more giveaways, follow @Pinnacle Fireworks Northwest Arkansas on Facebook. Click here to visit the Facebook page.
Drawing for $150 Fireworks Shopping Spree
If you’d like to pick up some fireworks with a $150 Shopping Spree, throw your name in the online hat to win it. The fuse on this giveaway is SHORT. Post a comment or send an email to enter by Thursday at 3 p.m. Then watch your inbox because we’ll notify the winner via email on Thursday night, so she can shop for fireworks this weekend.
HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win the $150 Fireworks Shopping Spree 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 and your kids are interested in this year (new ones in the list above or maybe a few of your favorites from years past). It always helps to have personal recommendations!
You can also email your answer to us at giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com.
INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: Help us spread the word about this giveaway by emailing your friends and family about the giveaway. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell. Just be sure to put giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.
Our newsletter subscribers get access to the good stuff, including exclusive giveaways (like this one), information about local events, local mom interviews, recipes and more.
The nwaMotherlode newsletter is delivered straight to your inbox so you don’t miss anything awesome. CLICK HERE to sign up. We won’t fill your inbox with info, no worries. We only send out newsletters when there’s something in it for you.
BE SOCIAL: You can also earn extra chances to win by commenting on our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or following us on Instagram. If you do any of those, just mention it in your comment or email so we can give you proper credit.
We’ll choose the winner (at random) on Thursday afternoon! CLICK HERE to visit the Pinnacle Fireworks Facebook page for updates, special offers and more giveaways.
Click here for the big list of things to do in Northwest Arkansas on and around the July 4th holiday.
Of course us adults like anything aerial but the kiddos like the fountains and Roman candles! We love celebrating our freedom on the Fourth!!
Wow we would totally love the jumping jelly beans and snow cone fountain! Gotta try those for sure!
My kids are just getting old enough to really enjoy fireworks at home, plus my oldest son is turning 10 on the 4th of July!! This would be so exciting to win!! We love to do bottle rockets, sparklers, poppers, and more!
My kids love the poopy dog! It’s the funniest things ever.
We would love to try the Knight stick for the younger kids. Our 5 year old cant wait to pick out a few fireworks. I love the fountains! Excited to try a few on the list.
Independence Day is my favorite holiday probably because my birthday is July 5th . I mostly enjoy fountains and aerial fireworks. Pick me!! Happy 4th of July!!🇺🇸
We would love to get the Giant Snow Cone Fountain! We love fountains and this one looks so fun! We would also love to get the Victory Celebration and the Jumping Jelly Beans!
As a family of younger kiddos, we love the fountains and sparklers. But the favorite in our house are the smoke bombs! The kids love to run through the colors!
What great detailed list! I can’t wait to get a few of those for my kids! We will be trying the knights sword, these normally make me nervous as I’ve seen the sparks come back at kids arms but these sound reworked and safer. Also the snow cone sounds very cool! These type of colorful ones are a favorite with us. We aren’t really for the really loud stuff, my son isn’t good with loud noises so we appreciate a good list like above! Thanks!!
Dropped a comment on Facebook as well 😉
We are excited to try the giant snow cone fountain and the jumping jelly beans this year!!! Some of my little boy’s favorites are the giant sparklers, smoke balls, the tanks and the ones we call ufos that spins with a bright light and then goes up into the air!!!
I wanna try that snow-cone fountain!
Snow cone fountain!
I really want to see the Summer Cocktail! My son was just days old last 4th of July so I can’t wait to see his face light up when he sees fireworks this year!
I would love the summer cocktail, it sounds like it would have everything you would want. However I would definitely have to get some of my smoke bombs and snakes since that is a tradition
My kids LOVE the fountains and sparklers. My oldest one is starting to like the bigger ones now. This will be the first year to buy BIG fireworks!
we love anything colorful that travels high in the sky!
Us! My kids are on a trip and will be back just in time for fireworks. They would be so surprised to get a Motherload! They already told me they wanted 2 tanks to fight each other, frogs, snap poppers, sparklers, fountains, some that go up in the air. I want to try the snow cone fountain and whatever my husband chooses too. Pick us!
I’m going to have to try out that Summer Cocktail and those sword sparklers look neat for the kids – I’ve never seen them before, so we’ll definitely try those out, too! I follow you all on Instagram and Twitter (stefjdf) and commented on the Facebook post (Stefanie Drake-Foote).
Can’t wait to try the snow cone!
The giant sno cone fountain looks so fun!
My girls and I are big fans of the chickens and turtles while dad keeps us a little more outgoing with bigger fireworks.
My kids love the parachute ones!
Ready to try the Texas Sword and Giant Snow Cone Fountain! Sparklers are always a family favorite! Thanks for the extra discount!
My kids love the moving tanks, chickens and snakes! Colored smoke bombs are a favorite too. That giant sno-cone and jelly beans look awesome!
We would love to try the snow cone fountain. Of course with an eight year old he’s up to try all the new ones.
I would like to try the snow cone one! It looks fun! But, we also like sparklers.
We love it all! Cracklin Crawfish, colored smoke bombs, pooping puppy, and anything that goes up really high, booms and sparkles! I would earn x1000 cool points with my 9 year old son if I could take him on a shopping spree!!!
anything that is big and goes high in the air!
We always get a big kick out of the MOAB but I would love to try the Victory Celebration this year!
I would love to be able to put on a show for my youngest son and his friends. This list of recommendations is going to make it easier this year for sure! It is hard to find the best fireworks for the right price.
My daughter loves the fountains! Lots of color… less boom!
Love the recommendations list. The jumping jelly beans really jumped out at me as something our family would enjoy.
Our favorite the last couple of years has been one called Red Fish Blue Fish, I think. Bought it for the Seuss reference, but it turned out really cool!
My kids live the lady bugs
I just love all the beautiful colors that come out of all the fireworks! They are all pretty!
My daughter is really looking forward to buying fireworks this year! Really like the idea of this $150 give-away!
Snowcone fountain looks neat.
We may try the Cracklin’ Crawfish Fountain
Love the fountains. Crawfish one is great! Sno cone one looks fun. Love your tent and the special customer service there!
Thanks Gail! Hope to see you this season!
The jumping beans the smoke balls and the summer cocktail look fun my husbands birthday is on the 6th of July so we always have a big party for the 4 th
I am excited to learn about all the fireworks. I am always one to wonder what they do and hope to buy the best ones. The snow cone fountain above looks cool.
We enjoy anything quiet and beautiful. Don’t need the noisy ones. Just like to enjoy something beautiful with the family. Making memories is really important to us.
This will be the first year my sweet lil girl will actually understand what fireworks are and watch them. We are so excited to share this experience with her while also telling her about the meaning of the 4th of July and about the men and women who have and who will continue to serve our glorious country!
That snocone fountain looks pretty cool! We’ve always loved Happiness too 🙂
We love daytime parachutes. We make it a competition on who can catch the parachute. Another favorite is the Angry Beaver.
We love the fountains! They are our favorite!
I want to see the new Summer Cocktail! Looks pretty!
I love sparklers and little dynamite
My kiddos always want smoke bombs, snakes, and the tanks that shoot sparks at each other (although their quality has gone way down in recent years).
My grandsons LOVE fireworks, the bigger the better! My oldest grandsons’ birthday is on the 3rd, so fireworks have always been a big deal for him, he has friends over and he puts on a show!!
Thanks for the chance to win..
My children (and me) would love the jumping jelly beans!
My grandkids always look forward to fireworks with Grandma & Grandpa! The jumping jelly beans look really neat! Roman candles have always been a favorite!
The giant snow cone fountain will be a must have this year!
Outstanding list and we will definitely be visiting Pinnacle Fireworks. I am intrigued by the Jumping Jelly Beans and hoping a neighbor will buy the MOAB. Would love to see that one go off!
Love the recommendations for the kid friendly fireworks, we’ll definitely be picking up some smoke bombs and the Victory Celebration!
Can’t wait to try the snow cone one! We like the aerial fireworks too.
It would be so cool to win this!
So fun! My boys love running for parachutes & I’d totally invite the neighborhood kids to run after the big 37 one! What a great list & awesome to get an extra discount! I’m commenting on Facebook and adding you to Instagram as well!!
Gosh, there are so many to choose from. My kids both absolutely love fireworks. My sons favorite are the bottle rockets, and my daughter loves the sparkling fountains.
My 3 kids range from 4-9, so neon smoke bombs, swords, jumping jellybeans, giant snow cone, victory celebration sound like some amazing picks! Thankful to see this list of fun kid friendly fireworks!
My kiddos love all the fun sparks and lights! They’re a bit hesitant on the louder ones but love watching from afar. We all love the fountains especially!
We always love the fountains and the jumping jelly bean sounds like it would be gorgeous!! We have a grandbaby now who is old enough to enjoy them this year so we are super excited.
We’ve always enjoyed the parachute fireworks!
We can’t wait to try the Snow Cone Fountain. That looks awesome! My son also loves the smoke bombs and sparklers!
My 2 boys have a competitive spirit so they love the parachutes. They try to beat each other to catch them before landing back to the ground.
Jumping jelly beans and giant snow cone look perfect for my kids!
I would like tp try the M.O.A.B!
This is a great list! We will definitely be stopping by here. My kids favorites have been the army men, tank, and also the ladybug.
Those swords look really fun!!!
I think we would get a kick out of the Victory one with all the parachutes. My son always loves anything loud & military themed like tanks
We would love the snow cone fountain and anything aerial. Our boys love fireworks. The swords would be great for them, as well! Oh, and they really like any firework with parachutes!!
Love this list! My kids really like sparklers, so I’m excited about trying the swords! We also buy a lot of the poppers.
Wow! These all look great! We love the cakes. Evil and summer cocktail look fun. Our boys love smoke bombs and the ground effects!
Will definitely check out their tent.
Jumping jelly beans, giant snocone and summer cocktail. Going to check out this family business for sure as they seem very knowledgeable and helpful. Hope they put out a list like this every year as well as the very much appreciated safety tips
MOAB sounds pretty cool even though I’ve never done anything like that!!!
My daughter and I would love to win this. I want to try the jumping jelly beans and the giant snow cone. Thank you for all of this information. Happy 4th of July!
Love all the products that were researched! My kids are into smoke bombs, Roman candles, sparklers and fire showers!
I was at pinnacle fireworks today and bought a Maximum Overdrive. I can’t wait to see it. Adam and the staff at pinnacle are very knowledgeable and friendly. Would highly recommend buying your fireworks there!
My boy would love the swords!
Crackling Crawfish are always a favorite in our house but from reading this we want to try the sno come fountain!
Definitely getting the swords!
With boys ranging from 8-18, we pretty much love them all! They like things that blow up lol