Fireworks stands expect dramatic increase in sales due to COVID-19 pandemic
Sunday is the first day fireworks can be sold in Hastings, and many are already seeing a significant increase in numbers from last year.
"Last year we kind of started kind of slow, but this year is going like gangbusters," said Chris Lenz, co-founder of TC Fireworks.
By early afternoon Sunday, sales at TC Fireworks were up 400 percent from the first day of sales last year.
With the city of Hastings cancelling the annual public Fourth of July Fireworks Show due to health concerns regarding the pandemic, Lenz said they anticipated an increase in transactions.
Lenz said they purchased more merchandise to prepare, which they continued to unload Sunday in their tent located near Hastings Ford Lincoln.
If more people host their own events this year, the fireworks stands could be the ones that reap the benefits.
"I think sales are probably going to be up 40, 50 percent over last year," Lenz said. "This year also, the fourth is on a weekend. So I think there'll be a lot more family and friends getting together for small parties than in the past."
The Hastings College track team hopes for that scenario too.
Their fireworks stand is located in the Walmart parking lot. It's the team's biggest fundraiser of the year, paying for $500 worth of gear for each athlete.
"With all the city shows being cancelled, we're hoping people are going to want to put on their own shows," said Ryan Mahoney, head track coach at Hastings College. "And we're hoping that with everyone being cooped up for a few months, people are going to want to get out and practice safe social distancing, but have a fun Fourth of July party."
That would be good news for Start Over Rover, as TC Fireworks donates a large portion of its proceeds to the shelter to help get animals adopted.
Following the Hastings city ordinances, legal fireworks can be sold and ignited from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 28 through July 2, and 10 a.m. to midnight July 3 and July 4.