Fourth of July will be celebrated around the United States this Wednesday, with people everywhere honoring veterans, flying the flag and exalting our independence. With the celebrations, Morehouse Parish residents will inevitably be popping fireworks.
Firework stands have been set up around Bastrop since June 25. Vendors say business was slow during the first week, but as the national holiday approached, sales are picked up.
Brenda Tarver helps her son manage his stand, Tarver’s Fireworks, located at 727 North Washington St.
She said business started increasing last Friday and Saturday.
“They usually start coming in during the afternoon,” she said.
Barry Burch helps operate Hales Fireworks in the old Walmart parking lot. He said customers start coming in after they get off work in the evenings.
“We usually get busy around four or five in the afternoon,” he said. “We might get one or two people in the early part of the day.”
City code allows fireworks to be ignited from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. June 25-July 5. The code prohibits either the selling or ignition of bottle rockets, or any type of rocket attached to a wooden shaft greater than 2 inches in length.
Burch said the city code hasn’t, “slowed down fireworks sales” at his stand. Opening at 8 a.m. everyday, he keeps the stand open “until.”
“If we’ve got a lot of traffic coming in, we’ll stay open,” he said. “We usually close at 10 or 11 at night. During the busiest days, midnight will be the earliest we’ll close.”
In addition to not being able to sell “bottle rockets,” vendors have another important rule they must follow.
“They [customers] have to be 16 years old or accompanied by someone 16,” Tarver said.
Deborah Smith helps to operate Hales Fireworks at 605 Washington North St. She warns parents about fireworks that are being purchased for a child under 16.
“If a child wants an adult firework, we let the parent know it’s for adults and it might not be safe for their child,” she said.
Tarver said she reminds parents and children to read the directions on fireworks.
“Most of the larger fireworks have directions on them,” she said. “Parents should always supervise their children when using fireworks. I think most parents are good at supervising them.”
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Burch suggest having water close by when popping fireworks.
“Wet the area where you’re popping fireworks,” he said. “Try to have a water hose close by or a bucket of water in case a fire does start, you can put it out.”