Sun Photo: William Thompson
Mike Arellano stocks fireworks Wednesday at Big Boy Fireworks on East Route 66 Boulevard. Arellano said sales have been good.
David Hernandez, manager of Phantom Fireworks on West Route 66 Boulevard, said the store is prepared to sell about $60,000 of fireworks before Tuesday.
Hernandez has an arsenal of rockets, artillery shells and exploding gadgets going out the door at a fast clip and said he expects sales to really go through the roof beginning this weekend.
“We had one guy from Colorado stop in,” Hernandez said. “He bought $819 worth of fireworks.”
Hernandez said some parents have said they spend more money on fireworks for the Fourth of July than they spend on Christmas presents. Family packs of fireworks are big sellers.
“We’ve got family packs starting at $14.99 all the way up to $79.99,” he said. “The family packs have fireworks that appeal to small children and some that appeal more to adults.”
One must be 16 or older to enter Phantom Fireworks unless accompanied by a parent. Hernandez said today’s fireworks are generally safer than fireworks of decades past.
“Actually, sparklers cause more injuries than any other firework because they burn so hot,” Hernandez said. “I would not let any child under 12 light fireworks and there should always be a fire extinguisher or pressurized hose nearby when lighting fireworks.”
Melissa Cordova, of Big Boy Fireworks on East Route 66 Boulevard, said her sales are also picking up heading into the weekend.
“Kids scrape together their change and buy fireworks with whatever money they have until their parents’ payday,” Cordova said.
Hernandez carries old standbys like bottle rockets and firecrackers but he said it’s hard for people to resist buying the artillery shells, which emit big bursts of colorful light high up in the sky.
Hernandez said he likes a rocket called the “Europia” rocket.
“This rocket goes up really fast, up to about 300 feet in the sky,” he said. “then it blasts out a display at the end.”
The Europia rocket costs $3. Hernandez said the store’s firecrackers give the person lighting them about three to four seconds to get away from the lit firecracker before it explodes. For those not satisfied with ordinary firecrackers, Hernandez sells a water-proof variety for $1.99 a box.
The store is raffling a giant assortment pack of shells. For every $100 someone spends at the store, a raffle ticket is given to that person.