By Last Updated: March 7th, 2023

Going Out With a Bang: Cremation Fireworks

Independence Day is fast approaching and that means enjoying all the fun, traditional activities you know and love:

  • Barbecues
  • Raising the American flag
  • Picnics with the family
  • Parades and, of course, fireworks!

But did you know there’s an interesting and unique way to celebrate the life of a loved one? Were they filled with American pride? Did they have a July birthday or a particular love of the holiday or were they a fireworks aficionado? Were they a veteran? Then a fitting sendoff for them might just be cremation fireworks.

What Are Cremation Fireworks?

Cremation fireworks are the incorporation of a loved one’s ashes into a fireworks display. This can be an especially dramatic, amazing, and just plain fun way to celebrate the life of the departed.

The first ever cremation fireworks display happened in 2005 when the ashes of author Hunter S. Thompson were shot out of a cannon while red, white, and blue fireworks lit up the sky. Since then, the new tradition has gained some popularity. If this sounds like the way you’d like to celebrate the life of your loved one, then read on.

How Are Cremation Fireworks Created?

Cremation fireworks are created by taking a small amount of the cremated ashes, approximately three tablespoons, and loading them into a fireworks shell that’s incorporated into a short fireworks display. The loved one’s ashes are placed in the final firework of the finale.

These aren’t the sort of fireworks one can order online or buy at a roadside vendor. They are commercial-grade products that can only be handled and fired by fully licensed pyrotechnicians who work in collaboration with the cremation facility.

How Much Does it Cost and What Companies Provide the Service?

Cremation fireworks cost in the neighborhood of $1000 to $3500. This includes preparation of the departed’s ashes as well as a short fireworks display to give them a spectacular send off. At the moment, there are only a handful of companies that provide the service since it’s a relatively new practice and there are permits that need to be obtained since pyrotechnics are involved. It’s also possible to conduct the cremation fireworks over sea, a spectacular alternative to the traditional method of sea scattering.

Are Cremation Fireworks Legal?

Cremation fireworks are legal, although you may have to get a permit depending on where the display takes place. In California, for instance, if your loved one is going out with a bang over private property, you need only get the owner’s permission to conduct the ceremony. If you’d prefer to have the sendoff in a park or other public space, then permits will be required and the local authorities will first need to be contacted to ensure that a fireworks display is legal in that area and, of course, all official safety requirements need to be met. The California State Fire Marshall website has more details about fireworks rules and regulations in the State of California.

cremation fireworks launching into night sky in Southern California

Are Cremation Fireworks the Right Choice?

Cremation fireworks are the right choice for celebrating the life of an unconventional and adventurous individual. The more traditionally minded may look askance at the prospect of launching a loved one’s ashes in such a spectacular fashion, but the point to keep in mind is whether the loved one would have approved or not, and that’s usually an easy question to answer. Bear in mind that more traditional methods of dispensing ashes can be combined with cremation fireworks, so it’s possible to please both the avant garde and more traditional relatives and friends of the departed.

What Are Some Other Creative Ways to Memorialize a Loved One’s Remains?

While cremation fireworks are arguably the most spectacular sendoff one can give to the departed, there are a number of other more sedate but equally creative options. A portion of the cremains can be incorporated into:

And for those who prefer the more traditional route, the departed’s ashes can always be scattered.

Cremation fireworks may not be appealing to the majority of people but, if your loved one was adventurous and had a particular love for July 4th celebrations, then it may just be the perfect, memorable, and amazing sendoff.

Opal Cremation is Here to Help

Opal Cremation recognizes that the passing of a beloved family member or friend is among the most difficult experiences one can have and we’re here to help you through it every step of the way. We have all-inclusive packages for direct cremation services that can be customized to your specific needs. Arrangements for cremation can be conducted either over the phone or through our website. Rest assured that you’ll be guided through the entire process by our dedicated team, and that help is available to you 24 hours a day.

For more information, you can visit our support center for additional resources and frequently asked questions regarding cremation.

Choose one of our Southern California cremation locations to get started:
Los Angeles CremationSan Diego CremationOrange County Cremation

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