by Dave Noble, City News Editor
ELMHURST – Phantom Reloadable Mortars, Crackling Octopus Rockets and a grand finale featuring an assortment of experimental and homemade pyrotechnics will “light up the neighborhood” for more than three hours this Fourth of July when an Elmhurst man celebrates Independence Day with his own annual fireworks display, scheduled to begin at 11:00 p.m. Tuesday night in front of his home on the northeast side of town.
Complimented by huge explosions, blinding smoke bombs and a Spotify playlist blaring heavy metal music, the man’s fireworks show is expected to be seen and heard throughout north Elmhurst and in parts of Bensenville, Schiller Park, Franklin Park and Northlake.
“I know that fireworks are illegal in Illinois,” said the man, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “But it’s the anniversary of when our founding fathers declared their independence from the Native Americans. So I’m going to celebrate it the way I want to celebrate it.”
Because his home is tucked deep into the subdivision east of York St. on the city’s north side, the man is not worried about the police showing up when he begins his show with a flurry of commercial-use pyrotechnics and military-grade explosives that are to be ignited on the flattest section of his gravel driveway.
“I haven’t been bothered by the cops in the past,” boasted the man, who sees his fireworks show as a community service. “But then again, I’ve never launched a dozen Silver Sonic Warheads from my garage roof in the past, either.”
Insisting that he always keeps spectators at least ten feet away from the discharge site of aerial spinners and canister smoke bombs and that he forbids children under the age of six from using his Roman candles to play tag, the man stressed that safety is one of his four or five greatest concerns when setting off fireworks, particularly those that the man has modified by adding a powder mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur that he learned how to make by watching a You Tube video.
“To be honest, there aren’t too many people around anymore when I put on my show,” said the man, who has noticed an increase over the years of neighbors on his block who either go out of town on the Fourth of July or elect to stay at a local hotel overnight. “We haven’t had a major incident in a couple years now, so why don’t they want to check out my kick-ass fireworks?”
The man has scheduled an event preview on July 3rd, when he will light a few 1600-count strips of Wolfpack Firecrackers around midnight and attempt to reignite some “duds” he saved from last year’s fireworks show.