Fireworks: What's New? What's Old? - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/3/05-Smith County

Fireworks: What's New? What's Old?

"Now that, that is an awesome one," the clerk tells Deshaun Gee, 13, at Stateline Fireworks in Smith County.

"How much is it?" Deshaun asks.

Two brothers and their cousin -- 8, 11, and 13 -- are making the buying decisions today.

"That ain't buy one, get one free," Kamrey, 11, says.

They've grown up with fireworks and they know what they want.

"It's got little things on the bottom," the clerk tells them. "What you do is you light it, and they're going to spin up in the air."

"Oh, I'll take one of those," the boys say.

"I just like the ones that spin up in the air, like the UFOs," Kamrey said.

"Lots of noise and sometimes a little pretty color," Cody Bowen, 9, of Tyler, says.

On July 4, you're almost guaranteed to get a bang for your buck.

"It's the only time we can blow stuff up and not get arrested," Jarrod, Cody's father and another shopper, says.

Year after year, East Texans go back for more. But what's new?

Well, first, the trend toward large warehouses, like the new Stateline Fireworks on Highway 31 East, where you can browse thousands of items in air conditioning.

"This Ammo Box is brand new," David George, the manager, said. "The 8-Element Multi-Shot is brand new. And the Metro Blast I, II, III is new."

Also new is the Egg Head Rocket.

Still, the most popular items are the ones that have stood the test of time: Black Cat firecrackers and Artillery Shells.

"Hey, I think y'all got enough," Mary Gee, the boys' grandmother, calls after them. "Y'all, come on."

Grandma Mary is paying for the fireworks, and they'll be set off at her house. It's an age-old tradition that brings the family together.

"You know, I remember when I was real young. It's been 50 plus years ago," she says. "Talk about the Roman Candles. I remember those and the Sparkles."

Some fireworks never go away. And these pyrotechnic enthusiasts would not want it any other way.

Remember, you can only set off fireworks in the county, not the city.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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