Fireworks Sales Off From Recent Years

Dry conditions slow sales, but business remains brisk

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    NEWSLETTERS

    For decades, families have celebrated the Fourth of July by setting off fireworks in a Collin County field. (Published Monday, Jul 4, 2011)

    With dry conditions across the state, safety was urged this year as customers snapped up fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July.

    Fireworks stands said business was strong despite the lack of rain, although one seller said sales were off from previous years.

    Lucas Field Makes a Boom

    [DFW] Lucas Field Makes a Boom
    For decades, families have celebrated the Fourth of July by setting off fireworks in a Collin County field. (Published Monday, Jul 4, 2011)

    Randy Nelson, of Nelson's Fireworks in Roanoke, said sales are well above 2006 levels, a year that had "historically bad" sales.

    "But we are off 2007, [200]8, [200]9, [200]10, when it was a wet Fourth of July," he said. "We're off of those sales levels by maybe 20 to 30 percent."

    Fireworks Sales Down But Not Out

    [DFW] Fireworks Sales Down But Not Out
    Vendors say sales are off from previous years but still healthy. (Published Monday, Jul 4, 2011)

    Nelson's Fireworks has eight locations across Dallas/Fort Worth and planned to keep every one of them open until midnight on July Fourth.

    Fire marshals discouraged North Texans from using fireworks this year, asking them to celebrate the Fourth of July by watching a professional display instead.

    Happy Independence Day

    [DFW] Happy Independence Day
    North Texans celebrated the Fourth of July with everything from fireworks to parades to pie-eating contests. (Published Monday, Jul 4, 2011)

    Aware of the danger, many customers are starting new family traditions.

    "We usually go out to Possum Kingdom Lake and shoot out there, but because of the drought, there's a personal fireworks ban this year, so we're out here just trying to do little things in the driveway for the kids -- sparklers and things that aren't too loud," Rebecca Letourneau said.

    Kaboom Town Goes Boom

    [DFW] Kaboom Town Goes Boom
    Thousands pack Kaboom Town in Addison for what is considered one of the best fireworks displays in the nation. (Published Sunday, Jul 3, 2011)

    Other people were careful to take precautions.

    In Collin County, firefighters in Lucas kept a close eye on a field where families have celebrated Independence Day with fireworks for decades.

    Nathan Bullard, of nearby Mr. Big's fireworks stand, said the fire marshal estimated that 3,000 people shot off fireworks in the field last year.

    Crews kept an eye out for fire dangers and wet down the field beforehand.

    Many places across the state have banned the use of fireworks, but they are still allowed with the property owners' permission in unincorporated areas of Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties.

    People in other counties should check with their county for rules in their county.

    "You need to make sure the grass is cut short, [and] you need to make sure you have a source of water on hand," Nelson said. "If you're worried about it, you might want to stay away from certain classes of fireworks -- you might want to stay away from the missiles with fins, [and] you might want to stay away the stick rockets. Stick to the stuff that goes more vertically up into the air really high and won't come back down."

    NBC DFW's Amanda Guerra contributed to this report.