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Folks seek biggest bang for their buck

Even though fireworks stands have been open for nearly a week, sales won’t really start popping until today.

Local vendors say the day before the holiday and the day of are usually the busiest times.

“It’s been a little bit slow,” Chris Wramp said earlier this week. Wramp is supervisor of the Klahowya Secondary School band fireworks tent on the corner of Silverdale Way and Bucklin Hill.

“It think it’s kind of expected,” she said. “It builds up around the third or fourth.”

With most people getting a Friday paycheck, the sales are noticeably higher closer to the holiday said Ben Zlateff, a Kitsap Chordsmen who volunteered this week at a Silverdale fireworks stand.

In 2013, Americans dug deep into their pockets and spent $662 million on fireworks, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association.

“It’s fun. Anything that’s fun turns adults into kids,” Zlateff said of Fourth of July. “Especially us old guys. It brings families together and neighborhoods, too.”

Zlateff said sometimes one or two men from a tight-knit neighborhood will buy $800-$900 worth of fireworks to shoot off. The most popular items tend to be sparklers, canister shell shooters and flowers blooms.

“The big kids like big, booming fireworks,” he joked.

In Silverdale, many of the fireworks stands are run by nonprofits as a way to generate funds for upcoming events. For the Kitsap Chordsmen, it funds youth outreach programs.

While some customers come in for very specific items, others like to take their time and pursue the items.

Customer Erick Krems stopped by a fireworks booth on Tuesday to pick up some sparklers and a few tanks. He asked questions, handled some fireworks and looked over the booth several times before selecting his items for purchase.

Krems said he intends to stay low-key and just shoot off some pyrotechnics from his driveway.

“That’s why it’s just the ground stuff,” he explained. “I actually generally just like getting this stuff for the kids and the kids getting enthusiastic about it.”

Adults aren’t the only ones getting excited about selling fireworks, either.

Some local kids also got involved in the salesmanship this week as well. Klahowya Secondary School band members camped out for much of the week with an adult supervisor to raise funds for future band trips. While students can’t make any transactions, they do act as greeters and help guide customers around tents.

Band member Jacob Sheffield, 15, said he was happy to be out helping the band.

“I like raising money for the band,” he said. “Hanging out with friends is also a bonus.”

Wramp said she thought people tended to make generous purchases since it has to do with students. As a third-year supervisor for the display, she said she felt it was a good money maker since “they keep doing it.”

This year, students are trying to raise funds for a band trip to Hawaii, she said, so every little sale of 75 cent snaps counts. Their largest sale would be the Extreme Pyro set, priced at $229. When the big sales occurs, the booster president is always notified, Wramp said with a laugh.

According to an American Pyrotechnics Association press release, there will be more than 15,000 fireworks displays nationwide this year in cities and towns.

 

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