DENVER (KDVR) — Buying fireworks for the Fourth of July can be expensive, but that pales in comparison if you get a ticket for lighting off illegal fireworks. 

By the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, celebrating our nation’s independence with things that go bang in the night happens every July 4.

But that bang can cost you a $2,900 fine and 180 days in the county clink. Olde Glory Fireworks owner Aeron Calkins told the Problem Solvers fireworks, unlike people, are not created equal.

“The law says if it leaves the ground or explodes it’s illegal. A tube where you’re loading a projectile that shoots 150 feet in the air … illegal. Firecrackers because they explode and you are going to go boom boom boom. Illegal. This one is going to shoot a projectile 150 feet in the air with a display in the end, illegal,” Calkins said.

Let not your heart be troubled, oh lover of liberty. There are still plenty of options out there.

Smoke bombs, sparklers, fountains, and even those little snap-pops that make a bang when you throw them against the sidewalk, are all legal.

And not to throw water on your fireworks fun but your city can be stricter than your county. Contact your local government to make sure your city and county are on the same page.

That will not be a problem for mom Karen and son Cody who live in Arvada. They are loading up on the legal stuff.

“We got one of those big packs, a bunch of fountains in there, a little bit of filler,” Cody said.

Which the two say is more than enough to give them a happy Independence Day.