Firework frenzy for the Fourth of July

By Kelly McCarthy

July 2, 2014 Updated Jul 2, 2014 at 7:27 PM EDT

Great Bend, PA (WBNG Binghamton) The Fourth of July weekend is quickly approaching and local fireworks stores are seeing an increase in traffic. But, if you live in New York, you have to head south to grab anything more than a sparkler.

Just a few miles past the Pennsylvania border, Mess's Fireworks is home to thousands of boomers that light the night sky.

The week leading up to July 4th is the busiest time of year for Jerry Mess.

"Mostly they are looking for the biggest," Mess said, "the best, the newest thing out for the year."

Fireworks come in all shapes, sizes and prices. Some smaller ones sell for only a few dollars, and some larger ones sell for a few hundred.

"I try to keep it under $200, I could easily spend $500," said Jim Cabrey, of Syracuse.

"A grand usually, yea, between $500 and $1,000," said Billie Jo Phillips, of Marathon.

An investment that doesn't happen without first setting some ground rules for the kids.

"We do everything into the 13 acres," Phillips said, "but they have to stand behind us, you know, that's the rule."

The Broome County Sheriff's Office said because of injuries and property damage caused by fireworks each year, just having them - not even shooting them off - violates New York state law.

"I have never heard of anyone being imprisoned for the possession of fireworks but you could potential be imprisoned for up to 15 days," said Capt. Fred Akshar. "And have to pay a fine set by the court system."

This also makes it a busy time for law enforcement.

"Last year we handled 96 fireworks complaints in a six day period," Akshar said. "I think we'll see that increase."

To avoid getting fined on the Fourth of July, the Sheriff's Office recommends New Yorkers should go to a public fireworks show put on by professionals.

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