LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — With large 4th of July celebrations being canceled this year, like Pops on the River, it’s put more pressure on small firework tents.
For people in the fireworks business, COVID-19 raised a lot of concerns for 4th of July sales early-on.
“We didn’t even know if we’d get merchandise or not,” said Kathy Dicky, owner of Moonlight Fireworks in Little Rock.
Now that the merchandise has made it from countries like China and onto shelves, companies have a few more challenges.
Dickey said firework owners are preparing for larger crowds now since towns are canceling traditional celebrations.
Dickey said her business is opening its doors for every day they can legally make sales ahead of Independence Day to accommodate the rush.
“It’ll last from June 20th through July 5th is when we will be open,” said Dicky.
With this season comes more safety measures.
“We recommend everyone wear a mask in public and social distance,” said Dr. Richard McMullen with the Arkansas Department of Health.
Though Dr. McMullen said there’s not specific directive guidance for firework stands, owners are instead expected to follow the ADH’s business directive, which was updated Monday, June 15.
“We just ask they follow that. I don’t anticipate us going out to see if those things have been done, but we do investigate complaints,” said Dr. McMullen.
Moonlight Fireworks started preparing early this year, and meeting those expectations are coming along.
“We are marking off 6-foot distancing lines, we are making plastic shields for our cashiers, we have masks and gloves available for everyone who comes,” said Dickey.
With these restrictions, and more shoppers expected, firework businesses encourage buyers to shop early.
“Wherever you shop for fireworks, go early,” said Dickey. “Nobody wants to wait out in the parking lots to get in, because we might have to limit our number of guests.”
Don’t be surprised if the price of fireworks across Arkansas seem higher this year.
With COVID-19 limiting manufacturing, the demand for some items caused price increases.