Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Why was MAPAG created?
A: The Mid-Atlantic region of the US has a number of hobbyists that want to build fireworks, but are unable to find a club that focuses on that activity. Manufacturing takes time and needs a place where members can store materials, and intermediate components can dry. Plus, when the entire club is focused on manufacturing, all of the members become proficient at building fireworks. This is a win for everyone that joins the club.

Q: What about the Crackerjacks?
A: The Crackerjacks are one of the oldest fireworks clubs in the United States. They specialize in large displays, class C, and some limited manufacturing. However, while some manufacturing is supported, there are a number of things that make it difficult for the builders in the club to actually build fireworks and improve their skills:

  • The Crackerjacks do not have a fixed base of operation. As such, they cannot provide a permanent workshop for builders, star drying areas, member magazines, or the materials and supplies required support a group of manufacturers.

  • The Crackerjacks meet three or four times a year. Some of these shoots do not include manufacturing, such as the shoot in December. Manufacturers need to meet regularly, and they need to be able to build at each event.

  • Because of the small venues often used by the Crackerjacks, manufacturing is often restricted to smaller shell and rocket sizes. This makes it difficult for the manufacturers to perfect the construction of larger fireworks. If the builders are to be successful in PGI competitions, they must be able to build large fireworks items.

  • Manufacturing is not a priority for the Crackerjacks. If the Crackerjacks need a venue for a shoot, they try to accommodate Class C shooting and vending first, then Class B displays, and finally manufacturing if they can fit it in.

  • Because of the size of the Crackerjacks membership, the large number of activities at each event, and the variation between the venues used for their events, safety rules prohibit making some of the basic elements that are necessary components of fireworks, especially anything that requires flash powder or whistle mix.

Q: Is MAPAG in competition with the Crackerjacks?
A: Not at all. There is plenty of room for both clubs. The Crackerjacks provide fireworks displays that are big, extravagant events. MAPAG only shoots member made material, so our displays are small if and when we have them. Crackerjacks has lots of Class C shooting too. MAPAG has some Class C shooting (and a few Class C vendors), but no where near the level of Class C that the Crackerjacks shoot. To make sure people can remain members of both clubs, MAPAG will avoid scheduling their events on the same weekend the Crackerjacks have events.

Q: What are the membership dues for MAPAG?
A: A fireworks club must have dues in order to pay for insurance, display permits, materials, and supplies. However, MAPAG is about making fireworks, not money. The initial dues for MAPAG are $75 a year with no initiation fee. We also ask for a $20 shoot fee per family per event, but this is only if you can afford it. Because MAPAG does not have to purchase large amounts of Chinese fireworks for evening displays, our dues can be much less than the Crackerjacks. Furthermore, if we have members that fall on hard times, we will waive the annual renewal fee for the member for that year. We don't think you should have to quit the club just because your income sucks.

Q: How can the club survive if some of its members cannot pay renewal dues?
A: Churches and Synagogues do it successfully all the time, and many of these organizations have a payroll to support. People that cannot afford to pay the full annual renewal fee will be expected to contribute in other ways to support the club. We also prepare an annual budget to assist us with our financial planning process.

Q: What kind of things does MAPAG intend to purchase with membership dues?
A: There are a lot of things to spend money on. We have insurance to pay for ($5,600+), regulatory fees on our ATF license and State magazine fees, portable toilet fees for each shoot, trash dumping fees, member supplies, wood for the workshop and magazines, mortar tubes, tables, chairs, presses, WASP machines, and the like. We have lots of expenses.

Q: What about guests at MAPAG shoots?
A: We will have one shoot each year to allow PGI mebers to attend the shoot as guests. Our rules are the same as those used by the FPAG club in that guests will need to be members of the PGI to attend. The good news is that you can join MAPAG for less money than it would cost you and your family to be guests at other fireworks clubs. Prospective members are expected to be interviewed by at least two members of the board when you arrive, and you must be voted in unanimously by all members in attendance.

Q: If I belong to MAPAG, who can I bring along with me when I attend club events?
A: Anyone in your immediate family. This includes your unmarried children (any age), parents or relatives that live in your home, and any children that you are legal guardian for. Everyone that attends an event will need to have a liability waiver on file.

Have something you think needs to be added to this FAQ? Send email to and let us know.