It doesn't matter if you can't even see them because it's only 8 p.m. and the sun doesn't set for another hour, someone will be so excited by what John Oliver calls "sparkly guns you can fire in the sky" that they'll set them off anyway just to hear them make their slight screams and upsetting-to-dogs-everywhere pops. But what is it about fireworks—and many of the other Fourth of July festivities—that make them quite so compelling, considering their potential for, well, blowing up in the faces of those planning them?
I mean, sure, there's historical precedent behind fireworks being at the center of most people's July 4th celebrations. The very first Independence Day featured fireworks, as did George Washington's inauguration, making the very idea of shooting off fireworks seem pretty damn American, thank you very much. But if historical accuracy were the deciding factor for most holiday celebrations, Wikipedia would have no reason to list "family reunions" or "baseball games" as traditional July 4 activities, but yet it does.