Fireworks Permits for Fourth of July Go on Sale This Week

Listen to this Article
5 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

(Big Island Now stock photo/June 2016)

Flash, boom, crackle and sparkle — its time to celebrate the Fourth of July, and firecrackers and fireworks are the main attractions.

Permits for red paper fireworks will be on sale beginning Wednesday, June 29, through 8 p.m. Monday, July 4. Each permit costs $25 and entitles the holder to purchase up to 5,000 individual firecrackers for their Fourth festivities. Permits are available to people 18 and older and are nontransferable and nonrefundable.

The Hawai‘i Fire Department is encouraging the safe and careful use of fireworks during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Permits are not required for novelties and paperless firecrackers.

“Yes, it becomes very confusing for the consumers out there,” county fireworks auditor Michael Matsui told Big Island Now in an email. “Paperless firecrackers produce a lot less rubbish as compared to the traditional red paper firecrackers. Consumers who purchase the red firecrackers believe in the good luck the red rubbish left behind is said to provide. And they produce a louder bang.”

Those with a valid permit can light off their firecrackers and consumer fireworks from 1-9 p.m. July 4 only, and the Hawai‘i Fire Department reminds the public that buying, selling, possessing or setting off any aerial luminary device, such as Sky Lanterns and Hawai‘i Lanterns, is illegal.


Permits and firecrackers can be purchased only at the TNT/American Promotional Events tent at 381 E. Maka’ala St. in Hilo. According to Matsui, TNT is usually the only company that sells fireworks on the Big Island for the Fourth of July.

Matsui told Big Island Now that TNT/American Promotional Events is trying to use up its inventory of red paper firecrackers at its Kona storage facility and has enough on hand for only 31 permits this year.

“So I anticipate them selling out very fast,” he said in an email, adding the short supply has nothing to do with supply chain issues. The company is “just trying to use up older inventory before new supply is sent over for the New Year season.”

That doesn’t mean, however, that celebrations will be any less of a bang for the buck.

“Each permit allows for the purchase of 5,000 individual units,” Matsui said. “Some of the boxes of firecrackers contain 2,000 units. Others have 1,000, 1,388, 2,492 and 5,000 units. So one permit allows an adult to purchase a combination of boxes that amount to 5,000 units or less.”


He said that anyone who wants to go over the 5,000-unit limit can purchase another permit.

“There is no limit to the amount of permits an individual adult can purchase; 31 permits are only for the Fourth of July,” Matsui said. “We usually sell 2,000-plus permits for the New Year sales period.”

Matsui said Fourth of July fireworks sales in Hawai‘i are normally very low compared to those associated with the New Year. TNT/American Promotional Events also supplies fireworks for sale to all of the big box stores, including Walmart, Target, Longs Drugs, CVS, Foodland/Sack N Save and Mālama Market.

Fire Chief Kazuo Todd in a press release reminds the public that it is illegal to:

  • Remove the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any firework.
  • Throw fireworks from a vehicle.
  • Offer for sale, sell or give any firework to minors and for any minor to possess, sell, set off, ignite or otherwise cause to explode any firework, except under the immediate supervision of an adult.

It is also illegal to set off fireworks:

  • At any time not within the allowed time period.
  • Within 1,000 feet of hospitals, nursing homes, homes for the elderly or animal hospitals.
  • In or on any school building or property.
  • On any highway, alley, street, sidewalk or other public way, in any park or within 1,000 feet of a church during services.

The Hawai‘i Fire Department encourages revelers to do their part to prevent fires and injuries caused by fireworks.

“Even the smallest firework can cause severe and sometimes fatal injuries,” the department’s press release said.

Todd offered these tips in the release:

  • Have a water hose connected to a water source or a fire extinguisher readily available.
  • Wet down surrounding brush prior to setting off fireworks.
  • Children playing with fireworks should be under adult supervision at all times.
  • Fireworks should be set off in a safe area, away from dry grass, buildings, vehicles and flammable materials.
  • Dispose of used fireworks properly by soaking them in water prior to disposal.

The fire department will once again collect any unused and unwanted fireworks following the Fourth of July holiday.

Anyone interested in disposing of fireworks should call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 808-932-2911 for information about where to pick-up and drop-off locations. Anyone who has aerial devices and would like to dispose of them with amnesty also can contact the bureau.

“Please do not drop off a firework at local fire stations,” the department’s press release said.

For more information about purchasing firework permits, disposal of fireworks or fireworks safety tips, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at the number listed above.

If you aren’t able to get your own fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July, don’t fret. There will be public fireworks displays, too.

Public fireworks displays are schedule for:

  • 8 p.m. at Hilo Bay in Hilo.
  • 8 p.m. at Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona.

Anyone looking for a front row seat to the fireworks display in Hilo and can’t find a spot on bayfront — or who just wants to have a little Fourth of July fun — can come out to the Grand Naniloa Hotel in Hilo, which is hosting a family-friendly celebration for the holiday until 9 p.m. Monday, July 4.

Those who attend will enjoy a casual day on Hilo Bay, quenching their thirst and filling their ‘ōpū with a menu of traditional barbecue curated by the hotel’s culinary team and served on the Makaʻokū lawn. Food options will include favorites such as hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixings as well as grilled teriyaki chicken sandwiches with grilled pineapple, along with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase.

The celebration continues into the evening with DJ Patrick Cabuyadao, also known as “DJPa3CO,” spinning his unique mix of today’s pop favorites and taking over the decks from 5-9 p.m. The celebration concludes on the hotel’s lawn, which offers an unparalleled view of Hilo Bay’s fireworks display.

Outside food, beverage, tents, coolers and beach umbrellas are not allowed, and guests must use the Naniloa’s public entrance. Complimentary public parking is available at the Grand Naniloa Golf Course, across Banyan Drive from the hotel. Valet parking is reserved for hotel guests.

The event is open to all ages, and there is no cover charge.

For more information about the Naniloa and its summer events, including the Fourth of July Celebration, click here.

There also are several other events happening in celebration of the Fourth. Click here to find more.

Nathan Christophel
Nathan Christophel is a full-time reporter with Pacific Media Group. He has more than 25 years of experience in journalism as a reporter, copy editor and page designer. He previously worked at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in Hilo. Nathan can be reached at [email protected]
Read Full Bio

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments