With multiple shows canceled, firework sales expected to soar across the metro

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SPRING HILL, Kan. — The upcoming Independence Day weekend may pack less of a boom than others have in the past.

Many public fireworks shows in the metro are canceled, leaving pyrotechnic purveyors to seek other plans. In many cases, that means purchasing more personal fireworks than usual for smaller, private displays.

They’re preparing for traffic like never before at roadside fireworks stands Pyro Papa’s in Spring Hill, Kansas. A number of cities in the metro have chosen to play it safe, canceling their Independence Day fireworks displays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Managers at Pyro Papa’s on Highway 169 said that’s leading to at 20-25 percent uptick in business from a year ago.

John Daley, the shop manager, said many people are choosing to invest in their own fun on the Fourth.

“They’ve started buying enough for a whole show,” Daley said on Wednesday.

Daley, who pointed out that most roadside tents sell legal fireworks, understands the large, municipal fireworks displays may be harder to find in 2020. Daley said his stand has been open since the weekend, and he’s already seeing more customers than usual.

“The fire marshal who inspected us mentioned that. He thought we’d have better sales. I keep hearing sales will be up and reports of it. So far, so good,” Daley said.

The City of Overland Park made headlines on Tuesday by canceling its annual Star-Spangled Spectacular, which draws thousands of people to Corporate Woods every July Fourth. A city spokesperson told FOX4 it just isn’t safe to gather large crowds, given the ongoing COVID-19 alert.

Steve Enright, whose family operates Enright Gardens, is also staging two fireworks tents near Edgerton. Enright, whose loved ones help run the fireworks business, said his company hopes to benefit from the cancellations, and give consumers a chance to put on their own socially-distance shows.

“When you’re in business, you have to make an investment, and you need to know you’re going to come out on that. If the pandemic were to get worse, and we all shut down? We’re taking that risk too,” Enright told FOX4.

Daley reminded us many pyrotechnic products are imported, and that coronavirus concerns in Asia have affected production. That’s why customers may notice a slight price hike at the cash register.

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