Okay, before I start off, I want to point something out: "The use of fireworks except by licensed professionals is strictly prohibited in Massachusetts which has adopted the Model Fireworks Law promoted by the National Fire Protection Association."
That's from Mass.gov. Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts. Period. There's no way around it. I mean, unless you drive 12 minutes down 95 to Rhode Island. Who's going to do that?
Fireworks are a touchy subject. If you're going to go out of state to do your own or help a friend with a private firework display, just remember, these things were part of some serious arsenals just a couple hundred years ago. They are dangerous, and you could loose more than just a finger.
On a side-note, I find it funny how a bow and arrow was the leading death dealer just five hundred years ago, and now we offer lessons in that deadly weapon at summer camp. I wonder when that will happen with firearms... Oh wait, we're doing that already. We're so progressive!
It is funny how the most dangerous and volatile things in the world can be the most beautiful and spectacular. Fireworks, tigers, wilderness, the grand canyon, etc., all of these dangerous things can be viewed and appreciated safely; you just have to know how.
Now I don't condone private firework displays where they are illegal; you can get in trouble with the law and nobody needs that. But if you're going out of state and want to see something amazing, private communities could be a way to go.
With serious economic troubles most local governments are facing, have become a bit lackluster of late (at least in my limited experience, if you know of a local town that can put on a three-hour fireworks extravaganza, let me know). There is always Boston, but traffic is a nightmare and getting a seat can be just as bad.
But if you drive around a bit in Rhode Island, you'll find some big blowouts. It's really funny when private citizens can stand up, be counted, and (collectively) come together to buy more than their local government.
Seriously, some of the private celebrations can be way better than town or city ones. I will relate one example. One of my friend's folks happen to have a lake house in a pretty, let's say "well-off" neighborhood in Rhode Island. The fireworks display on the lake is amazing. It literally goes for over three hours. I can't even begin to think of how much money was spent in the acquisition and transport of these things. The town-funded one I went to in Franklin last year lasted a grand total of 13 minutes. Big contrast.
Now most lakes are open to the public, so if have some sort of raft or canoe, you can get out there. I am not saying that you should or can tresspass onto someone's property and ship out to sea. Be smart about it.
Anyway, it was three hours of near or fully professional grade fireworks. You know how some neighbors are always trying to outdo each other with Christmas lights? Well, it's a little like that. And the lake is only a couple miles long, so if you have a canoe (ours had a hole in it last year, unknown to us until we were a mile and half out. Thank God for Dixie cups) or a blowup raft (I recommend that because you know immediately when there's a leak) you can paddle out to all the houses and see some amazing stuff. Some fire from the shore, some tow out docks and some foolhardy people light them right in their boats.
So just remember, the Fourth of July is a time of celebration, but it should also be a time of responsibility. Fireworks are explosives, and should be treated accordingly. Sometimes, even the professionals don't get it right, so you should take extra care if you are going to do it.