First Day for Fireworks

With the Fourth of July just over a week away, it's time to start making plans for the holiday. For many East Texan's those plans include fireworks. And that makes Monday an important day. Its your first chance to buy the latest and greatest poppers, spinners, smokers, and sparklers.

Annie Osburn is taking down boxes while putting up a fireworks stand on Highway 31 west of Tyler. The Robert E. Lee Sophomore has become hooked on selling American patriotism in an explosive package. "My best friend and I have been looking forward to it for the last six months now, and the time is finally here."

June 24th is the earliest fireworks can be sold in Texas. So all over the state, people like Bruce Manley are getting organized for the holiday rush. "It's like a family business for us. I have two brothers and we manage three stands in town trying to make a little business."

But on the first day of sales, the crowds aren't exactly overwhelming. Manley says running a fireworks stand is often a waiting game. "The time. It's a lot of time here just sitting very idle waiting for something to happen. You have to bring a lot of good reading material."

With all the Black Cats, and Tanks, and Spinning Bees ready to go, what is there to do with all that extra time in a fireworks stand. "Well, at night, we can take whatever we want and go out over there to the asphalt and blow it up," says Osburn.

Bruce Manley says the biggest days for fireworks sales are usually the Saturday before the Fourth, and the Fourth of July itself.