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  • What is the proper name of the club?
    On official documents, the club is named The CrackerJacks, Inc.
  • How old is the club?
    The CrackerJacks is the oldest regional fireworks club in the United States. The first club meeting was held in early November of 1976 at the Holiday House tavern located on Harford Road at Northern Parkway. It was attended by Jack Leonard, Joe Gross, John Cochran, Richard Doyle, and Dennis Coster. The entertainment for the evening was a presentation by Jack Leonard on the English celebration of Guy Fawkes Day. The first club dues were held in a Tootsie Roll bank.
  • When does the club year begin and end?
    The club year runs from Jan 1st to Dec 31st. However, annual dues are paid on an annual, rolling basis (e.g. if you join April 1st, your membership year extends until March 31 the following year).
  • How do I join?
    You should find all the info you need on our Membership Page.
  • How much does it cost to be a member?
    There are several Membership options available: Lifetime – $3,750 Full – $150/year Associate – $75/year Trial – $50/trial (trial period is 2 weeks) Memberships cover an entire family.
  • What do the annual membership fees cover?
    All members EXCEPT the Associate members are entitled to attend the club’s shoots and meetings. Trial members are invited to attend any shoots and meetings within a 2 week period and Full members are entitled to attend shoots for a full year. All members also receive: Access to the members-only section of the CrackerJack’s website, featuring extra content and communications; answers to legal questions concerning fireworks handling, transportation and storage; voting rights in elections.
  • What does it cost a member or guest to attend a club shoot?
    A member’s annual dues cover admission to shoots, seminars or other events. Current rates for guests are: $50.00 for a 2-week trial membership Guests are anyone outside the member’s family. There are no discounts for children.
  • Other than dues and fees, what is expected of a member?"
    The FIRST requirement of a club member is to know, understand, and follow all of the appropriate safety rules concerning the use and transportation of fireworks. Members attending the club shoots are required to conduct themselves in a safe manner by following all of the safety rules and immediately reporting violations to the officers. Every member is expected to volunteer at least 1 hour of time at each shoot that he or she attends. Most members donate 2-3 hours of time. This time can be spent on setup and teardown of the field, registration, or safety. The Shoot Czar coordinates all volunteer efforts. In addition, it is expected that each member stay for Sunday clean up at least once per year.
  • Who is included in my family?
    Your family is defined you, your significant other, and your or your significant other’s children under the age of 21.
  • My son or daughter wants to become an official member, how much does that cost?"
    A child over 21 years of age will have to pay their own annual dues to become a member.
  • If a member gets hurt at a club function, will the insurance or club pay for my medical bills or other expenses?"
    No. The club insurance exempts anyone involved in the event. This includes members, families, and guests. If you, your family, or your guests get hurt the club and its insurance company is not responsible for damages or expenses. You are notified of this upon joining the club. In addition, you will be asked to sign a waiver to acknowledge this at each event.
  • How do I become an officer in the club?
    Becoming an officer requires some effort. An individual may declare his intentions to seek a specific office anytime prior to the beginning of elections. Each officer on the Board of Directors serves for a 2-year period. Half of the officers are elected each year to provide continuity for the club. Elections are held at the last shoot of the year for the following 2 year period. Candidates for office in the club must be active members, able to dedicate a substantial amount of personal time to the club and its functions, and be able to pass an ATF screening. Once elected, an approval application will be forwarded to the ATF and will include fingerprints and a current photograph. The officer receives official status upon clearance by the ATF.
  • Are there other positions of importance that do not require an ATF background check?
    Yes. There are several “appointed” positions which require less effort than an officer position, but are very important to the club’s proper functioning. Each year, the Club president (with the Board of Directors approval) appoints individual volunteers to specific club positions of authority. Lead shooters for the club shoots plus safety chair & volunteers are some examples. These positions are the best way to learn some of the club inner workings to prepare a member for a future officer position.
  • I am applying for an ATF Type 54 Fireworks User Permit. Does the club provide an option for contingency storage for members without a magazine?
    Yes. The Club authorizes contingent storage for members holding ATF license/permits to be used on an emergency basis only for the duration of a club event. If a device within our storage is unable to be discharged at our event, the device becomes the property of The CrackerJacks. The club magazine is not open for general storage of member’s Class 1.3g items.
  • I am interested in shooting fireworks for a professional display company. Can the club help me find a company?
    Most definitely! Many of our members shoot fireworks professionally, either as company owners or crew members. Send an email to the club for details!
  • Are any fireworks or special effects banned from the club?
    Yes. The following items are prohibited by our standard safety rules, and require written permission from the board to be used in a special circumstance: Aerial Signal Flares, gas filled balloons or bags, and high explosives. Illegally manufactured fireworks are also banned from use during club shoots.
  • I would like to fire a device in an area outside its normally designated area. Can I get permission to do this?
    No. In the interest of safety, only those areas marked for specific items will be allowed to be fired in those areas. Exceptions to this rule must have the approval of BOTH the Head of Safety and the Club President (or their official representatives).
  • How do I get reimbursed for materials and fireworks used at a shoot?
    Only the Club Treasurer may approve purchases in direct support of a Club Shoot. There will be no reimbursement for items which are not pre-approved. Items used during a shoot, which are not pre-approved, are considered to be “donations” to the club. Items qualified for reimbursement will be paid within 30 days by the Club Treasurer.
  • Do I need an ATF license to use fireworks with the club?
    No! Class 1.4g consumer fireworks can be used by any member at a club event! An ATF license or permit is required to purchase, transport, or store Class 1.3g display fireworks. An ATF license/permit OR a PGI Display Operators Course (DOC) certification is strongly recommended for a member to manufacture or shoot 1.3g devices at club events. DOC certification is available at certain events for a nominal fee when a trainer is available.
  • Do vendors offer discounts to club members?
    Vendors offer club members various discounts during the year. Fireworks offered for sale at club shoots to members and their guests are deeply discounted.
  • Do vendors pay a fee to attend club shoots and sell fireworks?
    No, we do not charge a “Vending Fee”, but vendors are required to be members of the club.
  • Can I bring someone to help me vend at the shoot?
    That depends: A business can bring two employees to assist with vending at no additional charge. The employees must be on the vendors payroll (e.g. receive a W2). A vendor without regular employess may not bring an assistant. Anyone helping them would need to be a member of the club.
  • Salute Policy
    Over the past few years the Board has experienced an increasing number of complaints and/or safety issues revolving around the use of ground and aerial salutes. Procedures acceptable in a personal venue are not always acceptable at a club event, and sometimes what would seem to be a common sense practice is lacking. It is for these reasons that (very reluctantly) the Board has decided to establish guidelines for the use ground salutes. For the purpose of this policy, ground salutes are divided into two categories: those containing up to 10 grams of flash powder or report composition those containing greater than 10 grams of flash powder or report composition. M-80’s, cherry bombs, ashcans, silver salutes, firecrackers, celebration crackers and similar devices, whether commercially, or member made, are included in these definitions. The board reserves the right to approve, deny, limit, restrict or otherwise control the use of and number of ground salutes containing 10 or more grams of flash at an event. All members wishing to discharge ground salutes containing 10 grams or more of flash must get permission from a board member prior to discharging the devices. All Ground salutes containing 10 grams or more of flash/report composition shall be suspended by a cord or string from a wooden frame that holds the device a minimum of 3 feet above the ground and at least 3 feet from the wooden frame, or suspended by a string or cord attached to a steel cable suspended between two or more stakes supporting the cable. The stakes and cable must suspend the device(s) 3 feet or more above the ground, and in such a manner to not cause damage to the cable when the device is discharged. The frame and/or suspension cable shall be supplied, set up and removed by the party who wishes to discharge the salute(s), with the setup approved by a designated member of the Safety Committee, or a Board Member. The approving person shall be onsite and present at the event. Double Voice salutes, designed to be set off on the ground will be discharged in a separate area and on a metal plate or other device designed to prevent the scattering of rocks, stones and/or debris. Ground Salutes containing less than 10 grams of flash or report composition must be suspended or placed on a “firecracker horse” or other device so as to limit or prevent damage to the ground and scattering of rocks and/or debris upon discharge. Ground Salutes should never be discharged directly on the ground. Ground salutes shall NEVER be held in the hand and ignited. An aerial salute shall NEVER be utilized as a ground salute. If salutes are to be manufactured during a shoot, they must be made by the ‘binary’ method. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL THERE BE ANY OPEN FLASH COMPOSITION permitted in the manufacturing area or elsewhere at club events. All manufacturing of salutes must be approved by the safety person present at the manufacturing site. No composition other than flash powder (metal and oxidizer) or black powder shall be manufactured or discharged at a club event. Reports containing high explosives, including peroxide compounds are prohibited. Visco fuse or electrical initiation is the only approved method for ignition.
  • Can I write an article or blog post for the club?
    Absolutely! The VP of Communications is constantly looking for material to publish on the website. You can submit articles to Inclusion and editing of such an article is at the discretion of the VP of Communications.
  • Can I donate items or money to the club and use it as a charitable deduction on my income taxes?
    Yes, you are absolutely welcome to donate items to the club! We've had some fantastic events thanks to donated product. HOWEVER the Club's IRS non-profit designation does not allow you to claim that contribution as a tax-exempt charitable donation.
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