Holidays

Our interns tested a bunch of fireworks. Here's what they found

Best fireworks for your money

Sacramento Bee interns review the best TNT and Phantom fireworks for 2017
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Sacramento Bee interns review the best TNT and Phantom fireworks for 2017

Curating a jaw-dropping fireworks display for your Fourth of July party takes careful planning. Luckily, The Bee has your back.

Despite the sweltering temperatures, The Bee’s cohort of interns braved the heat (and the bugs) to judge the assortment of fireworks for sale in Sacramento County. The event was hosted by the Sacramento Metro Fire Department Station 105, which provided an excellent venue for lighting fireworks.

The interns observed and scored 12 fireworks from Phantom and TNT, the two companies permitted to sell fireworks in Sacramento County. Measuring the length and “wow factor” of each firework, they took careful notes to provide the best possible recommendations for your shindig.

Among the best deals, Phantom’s Dragon Slayer, priced at two for $9.99. TNT’s new Cool Breeze is the cheapest option tested at $3.99. Also new for the season is Phantom’s Serenity Fountain, which offered big colorful sparks with minimal booms.

Fireworks are available to purchase starting Wednesday, in accordance with California law.

Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks: 916-321-1418, @ayoonhendricks

Rated No. 1:

Opening Show

Price: 69.99

Manufacturer: TNT

What they said: “Red rain with red and golden crackles, green rain with golden crackles, yellow, purple and blue snow pine. Red torch effect with titanium rain and unbelievable crackles!”

What we said: The price hurts, but you get what you pay for. These bright big sparks and even bigger booms will take you aback, and might make you want to give the show a standing ovation.

Length of show: 1:12

“Ooh” factor: 4.85

“Boom” factor: 4.84

No. 2:

Allegiance

Price: 79.99

Manufacturer: TNT

What they said: “Silver

shimmering stars pulsating in a geyser

mist of lavender, red and greens--silver crackling. Three loud whistles (and) colorful flowers.”

What we said: Did allegiance earn our allegiance? It certainly got our attention, with some jarring whistles and high-flying sparks lighting in a syncopated cacophony for the ears.

Length of show: 2:17

“Ooh” factor: 4.58

“Boom” factor: 4.73

No. 3

Funky Monkey Fountain

Price: 24.99

Manufacturer: Phantom

What they said: “A unique

display with chrysanthemum,

pearls, fish, flowers and

crackle with green, red and titanium finale.”

What we said: These fireworks don’t monkey around. The bright flashing pattern felt like being in the midst of paparazzi, and the alternating colors are visually pleasing.

Length of show: 1:12

“Ooh” factor: 4.8

“Boom” factor: 4.37

No. 4:

Wicked Strong

Price: 59.99

Manufacturer: TNT

What they said: “Lots of colorful chasers dancing through a fine gold mist in colors of red, blue, lime and silver. Dramatic finish bursting with crackle and color.”

What we said: Packing a powerful punch, these fireworks were less about artistry and more about producing consistently huge sparks that make you say “wow.”

Length of show: 1:23

“Ooh” factor: 4.44

“Boom” factor: 4.52

No. 5:

New York Harbor Fountain

Price: $49.99

Manufacturer: Phantom

What they said: “Unique long-lasting 500 gram fountain. Silver and purple sparks fly between whistles and colorful sprays, crackle.”

What we said: Can’t make the trip to New York to see Macy’s famous annual firework show? This firework display may do the trick, beating the competition with how long its dynamic visuals and audios lasted.

Length of show: 2:54

“Ooh” factor: 4.19

“Boom” factor: 4.27

No. 6:

Magnetic Heat

Price: $49.99

Manufacturer: TNT

What they said: “Colorful molten flows of red, orange, green and purple with silver rains and snow pines, crackling with more colorful flowers.”

What we said: This firework lights up like a Christmas Tree and will elicit “ooh” and “ah” your lips. It smoothly transitions to a gorgeous sparkler effect that will make a great addition to your grand finale.

Length of show: 1:49

“Ooh” factor: 4.36

“Boom” factor: 3.88

No. 7:

Magic Beans

Price: $14.99

Manufacturer: TNT

What they said: “Magical colors of coral, blue and green with silver and golden crackles, plus titanium flashes and whistles with tons of colorful sparks to boot. Magical must have!”

What we said: You will be enchanted by the broad array of pops, bangs, whistles combined with sparks and brilliant colors. This appealing firework will entice your eyes and your ears, and you’re really getting some bang for your buck, too.

Length of show: :59

“Ooh” factor: 4

“Boom” factor: 4.12

Special thanks to Sacramento Metro Fire Department Station 105, Karen Marks, Thomas Oide, Nick Perez, Rennie Svirnovskiy, Jacob Sweet, Hattie Xu and Emily Zentner.

Wichita Eagle photographers Jaime Green and Travis Heying discuss and demonstrate how to successfully shoot good fireworks photos for the Fourth of July.

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