Fireworks sales launch the day before the Fourth of July


WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - Fireworks continue to fly off the shelves at Russell's Fireworks on the eve of Independence Day.

Russell Nettles, the owner of Russell's Fireworks, said this is the busiest time of year for his businesses.

Nettles said he expects thousands to come through and buy fireworks. Those shopping for some Fourth of July entertainment might notice a change.

"This is the first year of hands-on fireworks in Texas," said Nettles. "What hands-on means is you get the basket, fill it up like any other store, and check out."

He said in the past, things were a lot different. A salesperson had to hand over the fireworks to customers, which made buying them a slow process. The new way is faster, not only for the cashiers, but those making the purchase.

"Now, there is no waiting," said Nettles. "It is busy, but there is no waiting to get the fireworks or to pay for them."

Russell's Fireworks doubled in size now that shoppers can fill up a basket and go, and hundreds are doing just that, like Craig Kerr.

"It's one time a year," said Kerr. "You get to celebrate your freedom, do it up right."

Which fireworks does it take to do it up right? Kerr said the big ones!

"We decided to do a bunch of cakes this year instead of the artillery shells," said Kerr. "That way we can do one and run instead of a bunch and run."

The thrill of lighting firecrackers is not always cheap, but many people said they are willing to pay hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars to put on a show.

Angela Cotto said she spent about $500 and made two trips to Russell's Fireworks.

So firework shoppers know exactly what they are spending their money on, they can scan the barcode on most firecrackers and view what it looks like when it goes off on a screen.

Nettles said he makes about 75-percent of his total sales for the year on the July 2nd, 3rd and 4th.  It takes about 45 crew members, 22 containers of backup stock and staying open late to make this happen.

No matter what fireworks you choose to fire off this Fourth of July, Nettles wants everyone to remember to be safe.

He said to make sure to bring along a bucket of water to put your used fireworks in and a bag to use for trash.  Remember, it is illegal to shoot off fireworks on the roadway or ditch, and never drink alcohol while firing off firecrackers.

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