When fireworks sales were made legal in Iowa last year, a whole new set of problems arose with many local communities first allowing, then later retracting the legal use of those same fireworks.

The result has been a confusing set of rules and regulations. Sure, you can buy them, but now it seems you can't light them off. Except during a certain period of time. Or perhaps not at all. My head is already spinning...

The old saying "check local ordinances" has never been more true for those who want to abide by the law and not risk getting ticketed or fined.

But it seems that common sense and common courtesy are more likely help keep you out of trouble. Local cops are trying to be sensitive and sensible when answering noise complaints.

And it seems that it's been a quieter 4th of July season this summer compared to last year. And while it still appears the fireworks tents are doing a pretty good business, it does lend one to realize that perhaps the best way to enjoy the holiday weekend is to simply attend one of the many free fireworks displays around Eastern Iowa.

The Iowa City Press-Citzen has published a handy guide to the best displays going on this weekend through July 4. For my money, it's the safest bet in town.