Fireworks Stands

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fireworks seller Danny Shettles sets up bottle rockets for sale at a Dixie Fireworks stand in Batesville. The Panolian photo by Billy Davis

Fireworks sellers hope New Year’s revelers stop at stands 

By Jason C. Mattox

While fewer fireworks stands are visible this year, Code Enforcement Office Administrator Pam Comer said the city issued just as many permits for New Year’s as they did for Fourth of July.

Comer explained that there were three temporary use permits issued for the Fourth of July fireworks season, and there will be three sales locations again for New Year’s Eve.

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“The difference people are seeing this year is that the stand that is traditionally on Eureka has moved into a building rather than a tent or stand,” she said.

Comer said the cost for the conditional use permit is $100 and generally is granted for a one-year span to encompass both selling seasons.

“We started having people apply for one permit and having it be good for both seasons,” she said. “That way we don’t have people having to get two permits.”

Local fireworks owner Monroe Short, who operates two stands –  one in Batesville and one in Sardis, said he expected to see fewer stands overall this season.

“It is something that will be good for us if there are fewer people out there selling,” he said. “The costs you pay for permits and then location and product – it’s too much of a risk for a lot of people to stay in.

“I think all of us want to see our regular customers again this year,” Short added. “We know that this economy is tough on everyone.”

Business was down for the Fourth of July, and that trend could continue this year.

“A lot of people just haven’t had the money to go out and blow up,” Short said. “But we are hopeful that this will be a good season for us.”

Short said the best sellers so far this season have been staples like bottle rockets and Roman candles, but assortment bags are also moving off the shelves.

“People want to get the most for their money, and are really shopping this year,” he said. “We know that most of the business won’t come until New Year’s Eve.”

Firework stands must be closed after Jan. 1, according to ordinances in the City of Batesville.