CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Just like flowers in the spring, fireworks stands are popping up across West Virginia as the July 4th holiday draws near.
In West Virginia, a large number of those stands, most of them in tents, are operated by Alabama-based TNT Fireworks. Spokesperson Sherri Simmons said they have a 100-year history and take pride in partnering with non-profit groups around this time of year.
“Many of those tents and stands are operated by non-profits. TNT has a long history of partnering with non-profit organizations to help raise funds for their causes. Many of those you see are operated by non-profit organizations,” Simmons said.
There are more than 100 of those across West Virginia. Some will open in the next few days. Others are already operating and doing a brisk business.
“July 4th falls on a Saturday this year and sales are always higher when the 4th falls on a weekend,” Simmons said.
However, that’s not the only reason she believes the fireworks are flying out from under the big top in 2020.
“People have been cooped up with COVID-19 and they want to celebrate. With so many public displays cancelled, this is a great way for people to celebrate at home while they are physically distancing from others,” Simmons said.
According to Simmons, many customers have indicated they are also buying early to avoid the potential for lines as the holiday draws closer.
TNT stands have taken plenty of precautions to guard against the ongoing pandemic. Staff members are required to wear masks, markings have been placed on the pavement around each stand to insure social distancing in the checkout lines. There is a limit on the number of people allowed in the tents at any one time to shop and Simmons added they’ve tried to reduce the length of browsing.
“TNT has put together a number of different bundle packages and assortments to make it easier for people to buy without a lot of browsing. They also have an amazing website which people can go on-line and look at products available before they buy,” Simmons said.
The stands also feature curbside pickup. Customers can fill out a curbside order when they arrive.
As usual there are a variety of municipal laws regarding the use of fireworks in West Virginia. Many prohibit their use except on Independence Day.