I shall offer my last minute fireworks shopping advice again. If you are going to be out and about tomorrow and need some fireworks, don't just go anywhere. I recommend the following two stands this year, which have garnered praise from me previously:
- Fireworks City, but not just any Fireworks City. In general, I don't recommend Fireworks City, but if you come over into St. Charles via I-70, and turn toward the former Noah's Ark restaurant (it still looks like a big boat), you'll notice two Fireworks Cities. One in the Noah's Ark parking lot, another between Noah's Ark and QuikTrip. That second one is the one you want to visit. The owner, and everyone else, is extremely helpful. If you should happen to talk to the owner (I do not know his name, I'm afraid), mention that you were referred by the seminarian who comes in there every year and has been slowly moving towards bigger fireworks and likes fountains.
This tent carries some of my favorites I've not even seen elsewhere, such as the Black Cat Reloadable Fountain and Black Cat Nuclear Meltdown. Also, if you are looking for something pricier but extremely impressive, checkout the Quadrific artillery shells. They are, as you might guess, shells with four separate breaks. Breaks are the neat effects you might see in a professional show that light up the sky in different shapes, such as a “chrysanthemum.” Also good are some of the Black Cat larger fountains, such as the “Mammoth Fountain.” They also have the best spinner (a wheel that is mounted to a pole) that I have ever seen — I cannot quite remember the name, but it has a giant eye on it — it's called wild eyes or something like that — and it lasts forever.
- Red Dragon — the owner's name is Tim, so how can it not be good? The tent is located off of Mid Rivers Mall Drive (which runs from I-70 to Hwy. 94); if you pass St. Charles Community College coming from Hwy. 94, it is a short distance further, off to the left, back in a field. There's another tent across the street, but don't go there, drive back to Red Dragon. Tim is very animated in his descriptions of fireworks and was quite helpful. Though I bought most of my fireworks at Fireworks City (actually, I must admit I bought most of them last July 5, for 50% at Fireworks City…), Tim recommended several that I had not heard of before that were reasonably priced. These included a $7.50 8 shot and a $5.00 cone that he says will shoot up 20 feet.
They have 2 Cool, which is one of my personal favorites, as well as a lot of others I've not tried but which sounded very good.
And, while you can't find it at either of these tents, if you visit others look out for Just Another Stinking Fountain (J.A.S.F.), the best fountain under $10, period. Maybe the best at any price. I first discovered it out in Washington, MO, one year. I know Fireworks Superstore out by Hwy. 100 and I-44 in Gray Summit has it. So does a small tent off if you turn off of Hwy. 94 onto Central School road and make a right at the school. It is located just a little ways down the road in a Huck's gas station parking lot. It is worth looking for J.A.S.F.