The Fourth of July weekend is almost here, and that means you either will be enjoying some sparklers and black snakes as the state of Iowa allows you to legally. Or you will be enjoying some other kinds of fireworks that you bought in say, Wisconsin or South Dakota. Yes, despite the efforts of our state legislature this past session, fireworks remain illegal to purchase here in Iowa. I've always thought that to be foolish. The state is missing out on literally MILLIONS of dollars of taxable income! So what led to the state banning fireworks?

It all dates back to an incident in Spencer, Iowa in 1931. A careless child dropped a sparkler, of all things, inside Spencer's fireworks plant and warehouse. The ensuing explosion and fire burned 100 buildings to the ground in downtown Spencer. Amazingly, no one lost their life. With a lot of hard work and help from their fellow Iowans, Spencer rebuilt. Fireworks weren't so lucky. They were eventually banned in 1938.

Even though efforts failed this past year to bring back fireworks to Iowa, I believe that it's only a matter of time before we have more options here in Iowa. But until then, enjoy your sparklers and snakes! Or come over to my house and we'll have some real fun. Did I say that? I meant my neighbor's house.