I'm a St. Cloud girl born and raised. It's safe to say I've gone to my fair share of 4th of July fireworks displays over the years! I've learned more than a few things too! If you're new to the area, or if you're looking to change things up a little bit this year, here are some of my St. Cloud firework do's and don'ts!

1. Don't go somewhere crowded to watch the fireworks. My best advice to you is to find a nice low key spot that has a good view of the 4th of July show. If you go somewhere crowded you'll end up stuck in traffic for hours after the fireworks end. Hester Park is cool and all, but HOLY TRAFFIC AFTERWARD. I'm speaking from personal experience.

2. Do buy your glow sticks in advance. Most dollar stores sell glow sticks, and you get a decent amount of them for the price. If you wait to buy your glow sticks from a vendor at the fireworks display, you'll be paying an arm and a leg for the same thing! Pre-planning will make you look like a rock star to your kids!

3. Don't grab dinner out of a food truck. If you're trying to save money, this will be a bank account killer. Sure, the food is delicious but bringing your own snacks is definitely a more economical choice.

4. Don't go for the closest parking spot. My husband loves showing up early and parking super close to the event. However, the smartest option is to park closest to an exit, even if that means you have to walk a few blocks. Being able to get out of the event faster at the end will be a heaven's send!

5. Do leave early to find good parking. If you don't get to your firework spot early, chances are it'll be pretty tough to find a good place to park the car.

6. Do bring activities with you. Your kids might get a little board sitting around waiting for the fireworks display to start. Try to pack sparklers or whipper snappers to keep them occupied!

7. Do use the bathroom before you leave your house. The outhouse line is always outrageously long on the 4th of July. You definitely don't want to miss the fireworks because you were standing in the bathroom line.

8. Don't be a jerk with your parking choices. You need to keep in mind that if you're parking in a residential neighborhood, you must be respectful of the people who live in that area. Don't park in front of their driveways, or on their grass. Plus, when you're walking back to your car, be mindful that there might be small children in bed sleeping.

9. Do clean up after yourself. Don't be that group of people who leaves behind empty pop cans, used sparklers, snack wrappers and more garbage of the same sort behind. I used to live on the north side of St. Cloud and people were pretty rude about their garbage.

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