This fireworks season, bugs are in and sea serpents are out.

The California fireworks industry’s equivalent of Fashion Week is almost here, bringing with it an exciting 2019 summer collection of fountains, novelties, smoke items and spinners.

Starting June 28, the Sacramento region’s consumer fireworks distributors – TNT Fireworks, Phantom Fireworks and Discount Fireworks Superstore – will partner with fundraising nonprofits hoping to make green out of red, white and blue. Leading up to America’s 243rd birthday, volunteers will brave the summer heat to sell products of all shapes, sizes, colors and prices to the area’s philanthropic and patriotic – everything from Crazy Bug and Crickets to Iron Master and Laser Master.

Located in the parking lot on the corner of Caroline Avenue and Meladee Lane just north of Burger King on Fairway Drive, five local nonprofit booths will be ready to sell their wares.

If you’re wondering what will look good in your Galt driveway or street this Fourth of July, let us be your personal shopper. The Herald’s annual fireworks buyers guide has reviews of the new items and the best of the returning rest. What’s cool? What’s loud? What’s different? How long does it last? What gives me the most bang for my buck? We’ve got the unbiased answers.

Market leader TNT is debuting six fountains this season in California, while formidable competitor Phantom has either three or one, depending on how you do the math; a trio of fountains is being bundled as a single purchase. The remaining rookies belong to Discount Fireworks Superstore, which, now under TNT ownership, is rolling out a line of new and reissued fireworks bearing the Freedom brand – an exciting first sighting of the eagle-mascoted label in over a decade.

Making room for the newbies were several items discontinued during the off-season. Among the fountains kicking the water-filled bucket were the two highest-rated rookies of 2016: Phantom’s Sea Serpent and TNT’s Magnetic Heat. Good luck finding the last few of these short-lived 4 1/2-star performers.

For the 17th year, this guide grades fireworks on a 5-star scale, judging on performance, duration, distinctiveness and value. Only fountains earning 4 1/2 and 5 stars make the “Best of the Rest” cut. Items are listed by price, highest to lowest.

Let the sparks fly!

New for 2019

Pyrotastic (DFS), $50.99 – Lives up to its name with 12 tubes combining for the maximum-allowed 500 grams and one fantastic performance. Five rounds of soft-to-strong crackle, two piercing whistles and cameos of green, pink, orange and purple provide three minutes of pure eye and ear candy. 181 seconds. 4 1/2 Stars

Super Hero Series (Phantom), $39.99 – Like the Fantastic Four minus one, these super heroes have individually unique powers and yet united. Iron Master, the one with the shortest burn time (38 seconds), is actually the mightiest of the triad; it would get 4 stars if sold separately for about 10 bucks. Majestic Lightning (63 seconds) is a fine mid-show crackling fountain. Professor Flame is reminiscent of Phantom’s old Apache Firedance, winning on burn time (168 seconds) at the sacrifice of wow factor. Bottom line: Odd bundle of decent value. 3 Stars

Psychedelic (DFS), $35.99 – A good value as often-costly fan fountains go. Nonstop crackle, ice-white palms, multi-colored showers – a real crowd pleaser. 96 seconds. 4 Stars

Crazy Bug Fountain (TNT), $29.99 – “Best New Fountain” runner-up amazes with a triple swarm effect that produces a unique sound when two of the sequences merge – like someone knocked an angry wasp nest off a branch. Great crackles, reds, greens and palms, too. 95 seconds. 4 1/2 Stars

Laser Master (TNT), $24.99 – A range of effects is appreciated, but lacks synergy as the fusing rambles from tube to tube. 72 seconds. 2 1/2 Stars

Wicked Wizard (DFS), $23.99 – Love the height, purple droplets and titanium added for sharper crackles and a brighter white. 74 seconds. 4 Stars

Retro (DFS), $20.49 – The guide’s first double winner of “Best New Fountain” and “Best in Show” is, quite possibly, the most exciting one minute in fountains ever. Crackling sparks push the state’s legal limit of 10 feet high and wide like never seen at this price. 58 seconds. 5 Stars

Freedom (TNT), $19.99 – Patriotic and pleasing, this rookie spews red, white and bluish sparks and tall palms. Delights even with a sleepy 11-second shower of sparks between crackling barrages. 68 seconds. 3 1/2 Stars

Hot Point (TNT), $14.99 – Rare whistle and crackle combo will delight fans of noisy fountains. Two of the four screeches come at the very start and end. 60 seconds. 4 Stars

Main Squeeze (TNT), $14.99 – Good fountain, great price. Goes bonkers in the final third with wide-spreading crackling sparks. No relation to the Main Squeeze TNT debuted in 2011. 83 seconds. 4 1/2 Stars

SUP (DFS), $13.49 – Solid performer with series of gentle crackles and strobes that go high and wide. 61 seconds. 3 1/2 Stars

USA Rocket Fountain (TNT), $8.99 (for two) – State law keeps this rocket grounded, but its mission to nowhere at least has some serious g-force – as in great crackles. Kid-friendly packaging and cheap price give it an extra star. 26 seconds. 3 1/2 Stars

Best of the Rest

Opening Show (TNT), $69.99 – Budget permitting, this instant classic of 2013 is a 500-gram must-have. You’ll forget the steep price at the 1:40 mark when shock and awe takes over. 130 seconds.

Apache Firedance Premier (Phantom), $49.99 – Former “Best New Fountain” honoree has 500 grams worth of top-notch crackles, strobes and height. 140 seconds.

Delirium (TNT), $49.99 – Still the benchmark among state-approved fan fountains after 14 years, this 500-gram finale emits radiant colors and clamorous whistles and crackles. Phantom’s response is the nearly identical, same-priced Coral Reef. 105 seconds.

New York Harbor (Phantom), $49.99 – Revered 500-gram finale is distinguished by its stellar burn time and best-of-breed chrysanthemums. 252 seconds.

Illuminati Triangle (Phantom), $39.99 for two – Long-lasting fountain features multi-color pearls, sprays, flying stars and titanium crackle. Buy-one-get-one deal allows for mixing and matching with Brew Haha or Dragon’s Tears. 184 seconds.

Tasmanian Cyclone (TNT), $39.99 – Crackling sparks, lots of reds, greens, blues and yellows, fish effect, smokeless globs and a wide and wild finish make a winner of this loaded second-year fountain. 106 seconds.

Brew Haha (Phantom), $39.99 for two – Beer stein-shaped fountain has IPA (Incredible Pryo Action) with its vibrant colors and loud opening whistle. Cheers to this being a mix and match item. 145 seconds.

Quiet Riot (DFS), $37.99: Size is often deceiving with fireworks, but not with this giant from Showtime. A rainbow of colors, crackles and a boisterous finish rock this 500-gram brute. 180 seconds.

Electrolytes (TNT), $29.99 for two – Goes from meh to OMG at the 50-second mark thanks to a final half-minute of intense crackling sparks. Gets an extra star for being a buy-one-get-one deal. 81 seconds.

Funky Monkey (Phantom), $29.99 – Pyrotechnic primate produces pretty prismatic pearls plus pleasing performance. 90 seconds.

Miss Liberty (TNT), $29.99 – Beautiful multi-color stars with silver rain and intense crackles. Love the $10 price drop from a year ago. 100 seconds.

Red White & Blue Jubilee (Phantom), $25.99 – The advertised blue is more like purple, which is often the case due to the high cost of blue-producing copper compounds. Still delights with white chrysanthemums, and red and bluish fish and pearls. 110 seconds.

Moondance Premier (Phantom), $24.99 for two – A pair of this highly rated super-sized version of Phantom’s little Moondance Fountain is a great deal. So is the fact that it’s a mix and match item. 100 seconds.

Wild Side (TNT), $25.99 – It’s like watching the super-charged final half-minute of TNT’s Opening Show for a near full minute. There’s no climax because it’s all climax. 60 seconds.

Power On (TNT), $21.99 – Packaged to look like a miniature power plant, the “Best New Fountain” of 2017 electrifies with towering crackling sparks and unique fusing that moves from end to end. Comparable to Whimsy (DFS). 85 seconds.

O-Blivion (TNT), $19.99 – Unique ring-shaped fountain emits multi-colored chrysanthemums with pine and impressive titanium crackles. Sweet burn time. 125 seconds.

Serenity (Phantom), $18.99 for two – Noiseless fountain opens with lovely lava lamp-like lumps and peacefully pleases with seven colors and white chrysanthemums. Mix and match deal. 59 seconds.

Phantom Dragon Slayer (Phantom), $10.99 for two – Solid pick with white, blue and lemon chrysanthemums, rowdy crackles and red stars. 66 seconds.

Everglow (TNT), $9.99 for two – Last season’s rookie sensation scores with a quiet fish effect opening, titanium sparkle middle and boisterous crackle finale. This year it’s even better as a buy-one-get-one item. 61 seconds.

Luck of the Irish (TNT), $9.99 – Wowing revelers for 17 years with a performance of gold and silver spray, red and green balls, crackles and four super-loud whistles. 75 seconds.

Purple Rain (TNT), $5.99 for two – Little dynamo emits loud crackles, purple pearls and glittering gold and white sparks. Lower-priced clone of Phantom’s Moondance ($3.99). 45 seconds.

Cool Breeze (TNT), $4.99 – Non-stop crackle, vibrant color and a good price for the duration, even at a buck more than last year. 55 seconds.

Crickets (DFS), $2.29 – Crackle, color and lots of it. 42 seconds.

For additional stand locations and product information, visit the retailers’ websites: TNT, tntfireworks.com; Phantom, fireworks.com; and Discount Fireworks Superstore, dfsfireworks.com. Be sure to check local laws and take all safety measures before buying and lighting.