Around mid-Missouri, some fireworks stores have seen an uptick in sales compared to last May.
Brian Gilmore, the retail store manager of Spirit of 76 Fireworks said the store had seen an increase in sales compared to last year. Profits went from about $4,000 in 2022 to about $7,000 this year. And sales are continuing to climb, he added.
“Well everybody loves to blow stuff up,” Gilmore said. “This year things are definitely increasing… We’ve already had a really good day here today and I’m looking forward to what everybody’s going to want to come and buy on Monday.”
On the opposite side of Columbia’s outskirts, Bob’s Fireworks has also seen business from tourists. He said most were heading to Lake of the Ozarks.
“Because as I say, firework friendly,” the store’s owner, Bob Gerau said. “They stop in Missouri. Missouri gets the revenue.”
Missouri is one of 46 states that allow fireworks, but there are a few asterisks. Rules differ depending on which city limits they’re in. According to the City of Columbia Ordinances, Columbia does not allow other firecrackers or fireworks other than a sparkler.
However, outside of city limits, law enforcement does not have specific Boone County ordinances. State statute laws are still enforced and it’s important to still follow basic firework safety rules.
“I love selling fireworks,” Gilmore said. “I love shooting fireworks. But more importantly, I love educating people on how to do it safely.”
Most safety tips will come from the instructions included with the packaging, but make sure the firework is on a flat surface outdoors. For fireworks about the size of a small fountain, have audiences stand about 35 feet away. For anything larger, make that distance about 500 feet.
Don’t hold any part of yourself over the firework, and stand back once you light the fuse.
“Take your time and walk away. That’s the best safety you can go.” Gerau added. “If it doesn’t work, leave it set. Don’t try to relight it. They all have a fuse on them long enough that gives you sufficient time to get back.”
Firework stands and tents will open in Missouri towards the end of June for the 4th of July season.