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Louisville Fireworks Laws: What You Need to Know

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Louisville Fireworks Laws: What You Need to Know
Photo © Saquan Stimpson

UPDATE: As of 2011, fireworks (including those which explode or are launched into the air) are legal to purchase in the state. All fireworks should be used responsibly.

In the weeks before the Fourth of July, tents start springing up in parking lots all across town selling Louisville fireworks. These tents carry a variety of what many people would consider kid's fireworks--sparklers, cone fountains, spinners, and smoke bombs. However, you won't find any of the big stuff in Louisville. This is because of the stringent Kentucky fireworks laws.

Many people get around the Kentucky fireworks laws by driving across the border to Indiana or Tennessee to buy the fireworks that are illegal in Kentucky. However, if you are caught transporting fireworks across the state line you face certain penalties--your fireworks could be confiscated, you could be fined, or you could even be arrested.

Luckily, Kentucky officials make up for the stringent fireworks laws by providing major fireworks displays on the Fourth of July. Annual Fourth of July fireworks shows are held at Waterfront Park and in Crescent Hill, as well as other areas of Kentuckiana. However, if you insist on having your own backyard party and fireworks show, you'll want to make sure that you're familiar with the Kentucky fireworks laws:

  • You must be 16 to buy any fireworks in Kentucky.

  • Only "Type E" fireworks are legal--this includes fireworks such as sparklers, cone fountains, spinners, and smoke bombs. "Type E" fireworks are sold throughout the state at fireworks tents.

  • All other types of fireworks are prohibited. This includes anything that flies or explodes, such as firecrackers and bottle rockets.

  • Fireworks with warning labels that include terms such as "explosive" or "emits flaming pellets" are also prohibited by Kentucky law.

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