Do you know
Santo de Chispas
( Saint Sparky )
the patron saint of fireworks and human mischief?


The Story of Saint Sparky

"Saint Sparky" (Santo de Chispas) was an anonymous Franciscan Monk who lived in Spanish California in the early 1800s. He visited San Francisco once a year to buy fireworks and bring them back to his mission. He would then don a disguise and in the stealth of night distribute small bags of fireworks to the naughtiest and most mischievous boys and girls. Through his meditation and studies he had come to believe that almost all human efforts to create and live by rules to help us be "good" inevitably backfired. He believed that we must accept--and even encourage--at least some human "badness" to keep our efforts to strive for goodness from becoming misguided constraints. Distributing small and generally harmless fireworks to the "bad" children was his way of telling these children that they were really okay...that much of their naughtiness was actually "good."

The Saint Sparky Society is proud to carry on Saint Sparky's work today all over the world.



One of Saint Sparky's helpers handing out fireworks.

You, too, can become a Saint Sparky's Helper
and wear this badge!



Index to this webpage
Scroll down this page to view St. Sparky activities over the years,
or click on any link below to jump to that section.

                  Early years
2002
2003
2005
2006
2007
2008
2010
NY Eve, 2010
NY Eve, 2011
2012
NY Eve,2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
                 
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1999
The Early Days of the Saint Sparky Society of America


By 1999 we had already been buying and handing out small bags of small-scale fireworks to friends and work colleagues for several years. Inspired by the legend of Saint Sparky we found that giving away fireworks was indeed a great way to encourage and excite bad boys and girls.
miniature fireworks and fluxus midwest rubber stamps
Photo of miniature fireworks and Fluxus Midwest rubber stamps
posted to Fluxlist email discussion group
July 4th, 1999









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2002

Do not hold in hand! Light fuse! Get away
This year we handed out two types of baggies -- one with small fireworks and one with just firecrackers.

fireworks baggie


click picture to download larger, more detailed photo of contents


firecrackers baggie


click picture to download larger, more detailed photo of contents









"









2003
Small-scale fireworks & firecrackers for the people
in honor of Saint Sparky



the alternative small-firecracker handout











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2004

Saint Sparky
Bringing fireworks to the children who like to cause trouble


This contents display was printed out and inserted into each bag
Click on photo for larger picture.







This is the type of person who becomes a Saint Sparky's Elf or Helper
a really good question









"









2005
Saint Sparky
The patron saint of small-scale fireworks

One of the bags of fireworks distributed on July 4th, 2005, by the Elves of Saint Sparky

This display of contents was printed out and inserted into each bag.


The Saint Sparky Tunic

The Saint Sparky Society began developing a modern version of the costume that Saint Sparky wore when delivering fireworks. Shown here is one idea for a Saint Sparky garment (created using a t-shirt from the Fluxus Indian Museum).










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2006
In the tradition of St. Sparky: fireworks for the people


Dislodged contents.
This contents display was inserted into each bag






Round and round we go -- a Saint Sparky Helper bagging fireworks.









"









2007
Happy New Year Fireworks!

Saint Sparky
-- the patron saint of troublemaking children --
makes a surprise New Year's Eve visit!

One of Saint Sparky's Helpers getting ready to depart with a sack full of New Years Fireworks.
This Helper will be handing out more than 30 bags of fireworks in the run up to New Years Eve.


This year the Saint Sparky Society of America has acquired enough fireworks to distribute fireworks for the Fourth of July and for New Years. The Fourth of July packet included firecrackers and other fireworks best played with in warm weather. The New Year's fireworks packet -- shown above -- included showering cones and tubes--designed to create a colorful display on a cold winter night.


Photo of the (approximate) contents of each packet.
Copy of this image included with each packet.









"









July 4, 2008
Saint Sparky Rides Again


Once again this year
Saint Sparky's Helpers
Hand Out Bags of Fireworks
to Naughty Boys and Girls


The Story of Saint Sparky

"Saint Sparky" (Santo de Chispas) was an anonymous Franciscan Monk who lived in Spanish California in the early 1800s. He visited San Francisco once a year to buy fireworks and bring them back to his mission. He would then don a disguise and in the stealth of night distribute small bags of fireworks to the naughtiest and most mischievous boys and girls. Through his meditation and studies he had come to believe that almost all human efforts to create and live by rules to help us be "good" inevitably backfired. He believed that we must accept--and even encourage--at least some human "badness" to keep our efforts to strive for goodness from becoming misguided constraints. Distributing small and generally harmless fireworks to the "bad" children was his way of telling these children that they were really okay, that much of their naughtiness was actually "good," and that they were loved, too.

The Saint Sparky Society is proud to carry on Saint Sparky's work today all over the world.



Display of the contents of each packet handed out.
This display included with each packet



















2009
Dues to circumstances beyond our control,
the Saint Sparky Society of America was unable to distribute fireworks this year.











"









2010











The show must go on...









"









2011
Your generous donations to the St. Sparky Society this year
have once again allowed us to distribute fireworks to many deserving bad boys and bad girls this New Year's Eve!

A St. Sparky Helper presenting a fireworks packet to a deserving child.


Back and front view of the St. Sparky Society fireworks packet for New Year's 2011.



Fireworks contained in this New Year's packet.


Other contents of packet.
View Michigan's new fireworks law.









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2012

Saint Sparky Society Volunteers Ride Again!



This year Saint Sparky Society handed out
several different sets of fireworks!


1. The traditional bag of mixed fireworks
Contents display


2. A special handout for 2012: a small brick of firecracker packets
Helper request


3. Another special handout for 2012: a small mortar with flaming balls.
Given out as a "thank you" to Saint Sparky Society Helpers and especially naughty boys & girls









"









New Year's Eve 2012
Once again your generous donations have helped the St. Sparky Society
bring New Year's fireworks to many deserving bad boys and bad girls!


Label on the St. Sparky Society's Fireworks Packet for this New Year.






Top and side view of the St. Sparky Society fireworks packet for New Year's Eve 2012.
 








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2013




This year's Saint Sparky's surprise package
was bigger and better than ever!











"








2014



Saint Sparky Society Helpers are riding again--distributing fireworks and an affirming message to as many bad girls and boys as we can. Just like the original Saint Sparky, many Helpers--like the one shown above--are delivering their fireworks packets on horseback in the dead of night.



Thanks to your generous donations, this year's surprise package is a delightful collection of fireworks!



Our Packaging















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SAINT SPARKY 2015

Saint Sparky Society Helpers ride again distributing fireworks and support to bad boys and girls across America.

THIS YEAR WE HAVE TWO FIREWORKS PACKETS!

Packet #1 -- Our Mobile Fun Pack


Packet #2 -- The Contents of Our Big Bad 2015 Fireworks Packet!




The Packaging for our Big Bad Packet


St. Sparky Helper handing out a packet to bad child, Midori McSwain.









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2016
Saint Sparky Society Helpers ride again distributing fireworks and love to bad girls and boys across America.




Contents--a copy of this display included in every packet


How the fireworks were packaged and delivered






This Year's St. Sparky Society President, Allen Bukoff,
Handing Out a Fireworks Packet
to This Year's Poster Boy, Jerry Burton.



How a Typical Saint Sparky Helper Suits Up for a Night Time Run, July 3, 2016.



Smaller fireworks handouts to promote The Saint Sparky Society to adults









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2017
SANTO DE CHISPAS
Saint Sparky Society Helpers ride again distributing fireworks and love to bad girls and boys across America.







Contents--a copy of this display included in every packet



What the well-dressed Saint Sparky's Helper is wearing this season.










Creative Commons License Saint Sparky 2017 by Allen Bukoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.