Private fireworks sales boom after COVID cancels big July 4 events

Posted at 9:03 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-04 13:46:51-04

GLOUCESTER Co., Va. - The coronavirus pandemic has brought a summer tradition to a halt this year. Large Fourth of July fireworks shows have been canceled, but that’s not stopping people from having their own celebrations complete with colorful explosions that are legal in the state.

One family is choosing to create their own scaled-down version of the traditional big shows.

“This year, we stepped it up for the kids to give them that big pow,” said Natasha Stamper of Williamsburg.

For independent sellers, business is booming.

Pam Morgan has owned her tent in Gloucester County near the Coleman Bridge for 35 years. She said business is up by 10% this season.

“Since there’s no shows, they’re going to stay home, enjoy their families, have cookouts and do a few fireworks,” said Pam Morgan, a private seller.

DeLawrence Johnson of Hampton said he spent $200 on fireworks. Friday was his first time shopping for fireworks.

“We got the grand finale, the big ones, so we can imitate what we usually see out there at the end,” said Johnson. “I’m excited. I know my girl is. She loves fireworks.”

At Millennium Fireworks a few feet away, they’ve also seen a spike in sales. Owners Robert Lenier and Sharon Moran said they’ve tripled sales compared to this same time last year.

By 5:30 p.m. Friday, they were completely sold out of their inventory for the day. They said that’s the first time that’s ever happened in their 26 years of having the business.

“Our tent’s pretty much cleared out now, and we’re getting ready to restock,” Lenier said.

Millennium Fireworks owners said they brought in about $30,000 in sales on Friday alone, hitting the $100,000 mark since pitching their tent two weeks ago.

Their best seller is a fountain firework.

Related: What Virginia, North Carolina laws say about fireworks after shows canceled, uptick in illegal fireworks

“This is the Black Cat Energizer and it lasts five minutes,” said Lenier.

Though much of the skies will be dark this Independence Day, Morgan said they want to help bring a little joy to people’s lives, especially now.

This has been a tough year for the world with the pandemic, the protests, it’s just been turmoil,” she said. “Just enjoy your family.”

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