Firework sales increase as 4th of July event cancellations spread across Tri-State

With many setting off their own firework displays, authorities stress that safety is paramount
Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 9:16 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 26, 2020 at 9:17 PM CDT
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TRI-STATE (WFIE) - Despite the cancellation of many city and countywide firework displays in the Tri-State, business is still booming for local firework retailers.

The Fourth of July is usually a blast every year for most, as people flock to the Evansville, Henderson or Owensboro riverfronts to watch the firework extravaganzas. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing cities to nix large gatherings, including most of these shows.

In response, some people like Kent McClurken have decided to put on their own displays.

“We’re going to all get together with family and friends, barbecue, shoot off fireworks,” McClurken said. “We’re buying a lot of big stuff this year. We want a bigger display for that reason because the shows got cancelled.”

This is leading to big-time business for firework retailers.

“With a lot of the river shows getting cancelled, we’ve had more families coming in doing family shows, subdivisions getting together, putting on big shows - definitely more crowds,” Jackie Heath with Stateline Fireworks said. “We have more selections than ever this year. We have great variety packs, family packs.”

If more people are shooting off their own pyrotechnics this year, safety will be more important than ever before.

“We want to encourage people to practice common sense firework safety,” Henderson Fire Department Assistant Chief Chad Moore said. “Make sure you don’t try to relight duds. Don’t try to alter fireworks. We don’t want to see people get hurt. Make sure you have safety glasses. Fingers and eye injuries are the most common.”

“Everything has a fuse on it, so we kind of go over the fireworks with them before they leave - just so they know how to shoot them off because there are a lot of first-time families doing it,” Heath added.

Each city has its own set of guidelines and ordinances to follow in regards to shooting fireworks, and city leaders are asking the public to follow those when setting them off.

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