07/03/08 — As usual, sparklers expected to be last-minute purchases

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As usual, sparklers expected to be last-minute purchases

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on July 3, 2008 1:46 PM

Wayne County residents might be planning their own back yard fireworks celebrations, but local vendors say they will probably wait until the last minute to buy them -- just like they do every year.

From cherry bombs to "Surround Sound" and everything in between, Christa Hayes has seen, or at least sold, it all from the TNT Fireworks tent at the Wal-Mart on Spence Avenue.

"Killer Bees," "Crackling Cactus," "Purple Rain" and "Crickets" are always popular items to buy, Christa says.

"And naturally everyone has to have sparklers," she added.

The poppers are also a big draw for younger children and are a little easier to handle for them and for the parents.

Every year, some people sprinkle in here and there while they are shopping for groceries to pick up a few fireworks, but most don't plan ahead.

This year is no different.

"It will be like this, with one or two people coming in at a time, for the first couple days we are here," Christa said. "Then about two or three days before, everybody will come in at the last minute to buy fireworks."

Come Friday, though, the crowd will really pick up.

"On Friday, we will be swamped," Christa said.

Manning the tent has not only been a tradition for her.

She has volunteered to run the tent in the same spot for 13 years, but she isn't the only one.

Others in her church, The Lord's Vineyard, also volunteer to sell fireworks around the Fourth as a fundraiser.

They used to start selling them three weeks out, but no one came to buy fireworks that early, Christa said.

So the church cut the tent down to two weeks and then 10 days as it is now.

But even in those 10 days, Christa says, they make enough money "to pay the bills."

The best part of the job, besides the money they make for the church, is seeing children come in with their families.

"They always come in with smiles on their faces," Christa said. "And bring Grandma or Grandpa."

Most of them know exactly what they want, she said.

"And they just about get it," Christa added.

So for those who haven't yet purchased fireworks, and don't want to see frowns on their child's face, the tent will still be set up until the Fourth, with plenty to sell -- including individual types and large packages.