Sparklers selling fast in Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sparklers selling fast in Georgia

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June 27, 2005

Lee County - Fireworks sales are sizzling in south Georgia. Alabama fireworks distributors are setting up outside Wal-marts across Georgia.

In the past, some Georgians drove to the state line the week before Fourth of July to buy fireworks since they were illegal here. But, a bill signed last month made some fireworks legal in Georgia. Now out-of-state distributors are making the trip to Georgia to sell their products to eager new customers.

"By July 1st, 2nd and 3rd, they expect us to really be swamp", said Gordon Fletcher. TNT Fireworks, of Alabama, started selling fireworks outside the Lee County Wal-mart Friday. Already, these tent distributors have made four times as much money as the TNT stores in Alabama.

"They expected us to $500 worth of sales in the first eight or ten days, but we've done $2,000 worth of sales. That's about four times as much as what they expected," said Fletcher.

No doubt, Georgians are excited about the legalization of sparklers. "Just seeing fireworks in Georgia again just amazes me," said customer Mike Womack.

You can buy more than just those colorful burning sticks you played with as a kid. "They pop! There is no big boom, but they pop, crackle and sizzle. It's legal because it's fountain based, you set it on the ground and walk away," said Fletcher.

The biggest bang - Wild Sides which send a volcano of sparks about 18 feet in the air. However, Fletcher lists what you won't find for sale in Georgia, "Anything that's a projectile, anything that explodes that you can hold in your hands. Firecrackers, bottle rockets, black cats, M-80's, roman candles, artillery shells and things like that."

These more powerful fireworks remain illegal in Georgia, but customers are still spending big on smaller sparklers as we near Independence Day.

At many locations, non-profit organizations and churches are manning the fireworks tents. TNT gives them about 20% of the profits.

posted at 4:13PM by news@walb.com