Fireworks stand operator Antonio Ramirez stacks several boxes of fireworks which are being sold for the Independence Day holiday. Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Aerial fireworks not banned like summers before

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Fireworks stands began sprouting up on the outskirts of town this week as Independence Day nears.

While sales aren't that high yet, operators expect them to improve.

"It's going a little slow, but at the end it picks up," said Antonio Ramirez, who works at a firework stand located on East Highway 44.

Ramirez said his best selling fireworks are Armed Forces, Super Power, Steel Wave, Voodoo Balls and Chupacabra because they light up the sky.

"Everything up in the front sells and some people have already come by to buy early," he said.

Besides the big bang fireworks, Ramirez said many parents purchase the kid packages for their children because of the variety.

"It's better to buy kid packages because when you buy an item at a time, it adds up and costs more," Ramirez said.

Experts advise adults to supervise their children at all times and use common sense when setting off fireworks, such as staying away from high grass and structures. Because of current rain falls and rain in the forecast, county officials have not banned aerial fireworks this year. Fireworks are banned within the city limits.

Ramirez said his stand even has fireworks that will explode underwater.

"We have these Groundblasts TNT," he said. "People buy them a lot because they can pop underwater."

Packages can cost from $8.99 to $200.

Anna Ortiz, who also has a stand on East Highway 44, has been manning firework stands for 10 years.

"We've been doing good," she said. "Right now we have been selling more of the kids packs."

Ortiz said that people purchase hundreds of dollars in fireworks at one time and college students are her best customers.

Ortiz's stand has a package that sells for $190 called United America that sends 168 pops into the air.

"I have sold up to $700 worth of fireworks to one person," she said. "Especially the college kids, they are the ones that buy the most."