Fireworks sellers open with bang in Cape, Jackson

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Fireworks stands in Cape Girardeau and Jackson opened for business on Friday, marking the unofficial beginning of the Fourth of July season.

The stands opened just in time for Cassidy Moss and a few of his friends to browse through the merchandise at Patriot Fireworks in front of Schnucks on Kingshighway.

Moss and his friend Cameron Ward were on their way home in Centralia, Ill., from a trip to Current River in southern Missouri.

"We can buy some stuff over in Illinois, but not bottle rockets or Blackcats," he said. "We come over here every year to buy some. Usually we go to Boomland."

According to licenses filed with the city of Cape Girardeau, there are eight fireworks stands in Cape Girardeau, four fewer than last year.

The city of Jackson reports six stands, one less than last year, and so far Scott City has just one, but Scott City restricts the sale of fireworks until June 25. Officials there expect more applicants in the next few days.

All told, 19 permits have been issued in Cape Girardeau County, up one from last year.

Rick Hoffman, of Hoffman Family Fireworks, operates two stands in Jackson and one in both Cape Girardeau and Scott City.

Late Friday afternoon, he said business had been good for the first day, probably because it was a Friday.

The items at Hoffman range from 10 cents to $255 for an assortment pack.

He said he's particularly excited about one new firework out this year.

"The Georgia Hurricane is the complete package," he said.

The Georgia Hurricane has 25 shots and each shot breaks into three separate displays.

At Patriot Fireworks in Cape Girardeau, items range from 15 cents for a single party popper to $155 for a large kit.

"We have some bigger ones on the way," said Bridgett Adams, who is working the stand for the fourth year. "Business has been pretty good. We've had quite a few people. Everybody's excited. We get a lot of parents in with their little kids who have seen the tents and can't wait to get their hands on some firecrackers."

John Englehart and his 11-year-old grandson, William Meyers of New Hampshire, hit the Patriot stand while family members did some grocery shopping at Schnucks. The two bought a couple of handfuls of fire crackers.

"We don't like grocery shopping, so we're looking around," John Englehart said. "It's just a fun time in the evenings at home while they're visiting."


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