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Fireworks stands will be busy today

There are three fireworks sales locations in Demopolis, and all three are sure to be busy throughout the day today.

USA Fireworks, located next to Parr’s Chevron (formerly Pruitt’s) on U.S Highway 80 West and the two Holiday Fireworks locations — one on the east entryway to Wal-Mart and the other on U.S. Highway 43 South — carry a wide variety of fireworks, firecrackers, sparklers and other pyrotechnic ways to welcome the new year.

“We’re going to eat good and probably hang around the house,” said Chris Tangle, who shopped at USA Fireworks. “We’re going to shoot off some fireworks and watch the new year come in.” Tangle said his firework of choice was bottle rockets.

“The trailer has been here for years and years,” said Clara Overstreet, the proprietor at USA Fireworks. “They used to pull it, then bring it back.”

Overstreet said the owners of USA Fireworks is out of town and owns 20 different fireworks stations around the state.

“We’ve got a Moon Traveler that is packed that holds about 12 of these bottle rockets in a bundle, and that is one of our biggest sellers,” she said. “The kids come in here and pick what they want. We have several deals on the big packages.”

Justin Hannah mans the Holiday Fireworks stand on the Wal-Mart entrance road, working for Robbie “Buddy” Cook.

“The Half-Bomb firecrackers are the best sellers, but a lot of people like the 100-shot Saturn Missiles, too,” he said. “They shoot out 100 different shots in the air in different colors. You light it one time, and get 100 shots for $4.50.”

Hannah said most of his business as of Tuesday came in after 5 p.m., when people got off work.

“A lot of people are buying big stuff this year,” he said. “Most people who live out of town are buying the big stuff. It seems like the people who live in town aren’t buying the big stuff. The best big seller would be the Red Devil artillery shells. There’s 12 of them, the same size as they use on Christmas on the River.”

Emily Willingham has worked at the Holiday Fireworks location on U.S. 43 South since it opened five years ago.

“Business has been kind of slow, but it’s been getting better,” she said. “Around Christmas time, especially with the economy the way it is, it was kind of slow, but now that New Year’s is coming around, it’s a big fireworks day, so it’s picking up.

“This year, it seems that more people are going for the assortment bags that we have. It has a little bit of everything. The smallest one we have has sparklers, Roman candles, a little fountain, a few crackling smoke bombs, mostly for kids, but our bigger bags have bigger fountains and they actually have what we call cannons. They shoot out and explode in midair. It’s really kind of cool!”

In the hours leading up to midnight and especially right at midnight tonight, the air will pop and sizzle with a celebration surrounded by the traditional fireworks. Choose fireworks that are appropriate for where you will shoot them from, be mindful of neighbors or anything else close at hand and enjoy shooting out 2008 and blasting in 2009.