I like professionally-done fireworks.
I prefer the lessening of the chance of people blowing off body parts with explosives. The most explosive thing I've personally handled was sparklers. I'd get nervous handling anything with more oomph. And I could get nervous about people around me handling more oomph-y fireworks. And, come the 90s, I finally got more sensitive to how fireworks freak out a lot of animals. It was one reason we were kind of relieved our family's yellow Lab Sophie got hard of hearing when she got older; she wouldn't get spooked. A dog that lived next to my parents' Dundee home, however, got so spooked one July 4th that she ran into their garage, through three screen doors, and into the screened-in part of the deck, and cowered. Poor thing. And the personal fireworks shows are more likely to be close to spook-able pets.
One of the few times I really enjoyed a personal fireworks show was a Fourth of July in the early 80s -- either 1983 or 1984 -- on a relatively isolated bay shore in Virginia Beach, VA. (That may have been the first and last time I ever handled sparklers, come to think of it.) House set off by itself, water on two sides, and the Virginia humidity getting manageable as dusk fell. Reflections off the water, just the guests nearby, probably grilled meats as usually happens at such celebrations...but it's the view of the fireworks over the water that stayed with me.
Three times when I lived in Northern Virginia, I went into or near to D.C. to watch the big, big, BIG fireworks show that's launched from the Washington Monument grounds. First time was 1985. I was ON that hill. It was like the ENTIRE SKY was exploding. In a really neat way. The second time, I watched from a Pentagon parking lot across the Potomac River. It was still big and neat. The last year my parents lived in Virginia, 1994, we into the city again, and that time watched from the west slope of Capitol Hill. Big and neat once again!
I guess I like the idea of fireworks you go to. Ideally shot off over water, like at Portland's Waterfront Blues Festival, which I've seen several times (and heard more times, because I live not too far from that part of downtown), because that way it's less likely that things will CATCH FIRE. If I ever had much desire to see them right from where I live, that's gone away, or at least dormant. It doesn't have to be a quest, over hill and dale and past many obstacles, because an epic wouldn't be so epic if it were just about getting to a frickin' display of fireworks, but: go somewhere. See it. Which I plan to do tonight.
Happy Fourth! May it stay a Happy Fourth.