The fireworks business is booming in 2020. With many people staying home and without the typical high-production events, customers have flocked to purchase their own fireworks this year.
Local fireworks vendors and contractors set up shop last week across Owensboro, and they’ve reported a significant boost in sales already.
Brandon Stacy, who manages the Marvin’s Fireworks tent in front of Kroger on Frederica Street, said business was better by 20-30% on opening day compared to last year — and the pandemic had something to do with it.
“I think it had a lot to do with it. Everybody had cabin fever for months and months. (The government) finally let the regulations down,” he said. “They’re ready to enjoy their families and reconnect, so we’re having a lot of people come get the Grand Finale (fireworks).”
Stacy said a customer bought a package worth more $500, and they threw in a few hundred dollars more on the artillery shell-type fireworks in the same purchase.
Roger Chilton, operator with MAD Fireworks, said sales have doubled for him at his tent on KY 54.
“They’ve definitely doubled by this time last year,” he said. “I think people just don’t have as much to do right now so they’re staying home and lighting up fireworks.”
One of Lynsie Ferguson’s small-business firework tents, which is situated in a corner at the intersection of East 23rd Street and Veach Road across from J’s Liquor, opened for business June 26 and also saw an early increase in sales.
“The rest of our tents have done really well this year so far even as early as the end of June where as we normally don’t see it till July,” she said.
She said people have been buying up all sorts of fireworks — including many suitable for children — but the most popular have been the louder ones such as Excalibur, Zeus, and One Bad Mother In Law.
Ferguson said she breaks down and sets up shop every morning through July 4. Meanwhile at larger tents like the ones run by Stacy and Chilton, operators stay overnight at their locations to guard against fireworks thieves.
“It’s a way for us to help our family make ends meet throughout the year,” Ferguson said. “We enjoy it. We love getting out to get to talk to people in the community. It’s a very chaotic crazy week but once we get through the week, it’s worth it.”