Drive-in fireworks and explosive gifts: This is the 4th of July during a pandemic

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OLATHE, Kan. — You may have heard more loud bangs in your neighborhood this Fourth of July as amateurs took over for the pros following canceled fireworks displays.

Olathe moved forward with its fireworks spectacular. People watched through their windshields because they had to sit in their cars.

Even though COVID-19 blew up lots of people’s plans, the holiday still went off with a bang.

Fireworks stands were extra busy Saturday. Some people still trying to have a blast bought fireworks for the first time.

“I can’t really hang out with a lot of people because of COVID, and I can’t hang out with my family because of COVID, and that’s really different,” Tori Letourneau said. “I used to go to the lake, but I can’t do that.”

Letourneau and her friend Felicia Tomas bough supplies just hours ahead of their smaller Fourth of July celebration and another type of celebration. Tomas bought fireworks as gifts.

“It’s my moms birthday and we have to go with less people,” Tomas said. “She wants to celebrate with more, but you can’t. She loves fireworks, so I’m getting them as a gift for her.”

Fireworks flew out of stands. Record fireworks sales were expected, the American Pyrotechnics Association said some fireworks businesses are seeing a 200 to 300 percent increase.

As fireworks sellers are cashing in, people who make a living putting on the big shows are hurting.

Tomas on her way home to wrap her mom’s presents has a very special message this Fourth of July.

“Happy birthday, mom. I love you!” She said.

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