OTTAWA LAKE, Mich. — They have lit up the city throughout the holiday weekend and today.
When House Bill 172 went into effect July 1, the ways to set off fireworks have been expanded. This was due to making consumer-grade fireworks legal to set off in Ohio, depending on local laws and certain holidays.
This has caused some to make their shows even bigger in Ohio according to family-owned business Uncle Louie's Fireworks in Ottawa Lake, Michigan.
“A lot of our clientele that has came from Ohio, they’ve limited their purchases to fountains, safe, and sane, and novelty items,” Uncle Louie's co-owner Lee Strahan said. “And now that they’re able to do a little bit bigger–they’re adding to their shows, getting some of those 200-gram cakes, 500-gram cakes and artillery shells.”
With places like Uncle Louie’s just a mile across the state line, other places like Fireworks Kingdom have been able to broaden their advertising to more places in Ohio with the fruition of the law.
“[Now] down to Columbus, so we’re just expanding our customer base to a whole new area," Fireworks Kingdom co-owner Janelle Johnston said. "So definitely, I think it’s brought in a lot more people that weren’t aware of it.”
As more fireworks are accessible for residents in Ohio, there are also many different ways people can set them off in a more safe and sound manner wherever they live. It's something Strahan also sells at her store.
“We actually have a whole line of subtle fireworks that have all the display up in the air without the noise that’s great for neighborhoods," she said. "And then we also make sure people know they don’t have mines or lower effects stuff, if they need to clear houses.”
The city of Toledo opted out of the legislation, as did a number of other municipalities in northwest Ohio.