What’s Hot… What’s Not

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 27, 2002


By Alan Riquelmy /Selma Times – Journal

The hot fireworks this year are artillery shells.

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John Kolasky, location manager of Crazy Bill’s Fireworks, said that the most popular kind of artillery shell is the twelve shot, single burst variety. Brand names include &uot;Bullet Bombs&uot; and &uot;King Cobra.&uot;

Both brands are in the $20 range.

An artillery shell, Kolasky explained, is a firework that can be used more than once. The package comes with a reusable canister, or at times canisters, and the shots are loaded one at a time.

Shots can be single, double or triple. Double shots split twice in the air while triple shots split into three separate bursts.

Those who need a bit more bang in their holiday can purchase &uot;Goliath,&uot; an artillery shell set with 24 single shots, six double and six triple ones. Kolasky said &uot;Goliath&uot; costs around $90.

One of the more expensive artillery sets includes &uot;Heavy Artillery,&uot; a set that costs about $100 and has 48 shells. All the shells are doubles, Kolasky said, and the set comes with two canisters for firing them.

Even though artillery shells are popular, they won’t be the only fireworks that will be set off this holiday season. Kolasky pointed out a number of other items at Crazy Bill’s for both children and adults.

There are a multitude of firework variety packs that include sparklers and roman candles among others. The &uot;Ninja&uot; variety pack is about $23 while the &uot;Crazy Bill Bag&uot; is about $20.

At B&G Fireworks, salesman Shaun Smith also said that artillery shells are this year’s popular buy. The most expensive is &uot;America’s Best of the Best,&uot; a set with 106 breaks, or bursts. It comes with single, double and triple breaks and costs about $155.

However, Smith pointed out &uot;Black Cat Artillery Shells&uot; as being the most popular item at his store. The set comes with 12 shots, but all of them are single bursts. It costs about $30, but Smith said that you get two sets for that price.

Both Kolasky and Smith said that the busiest day in the firework business is New Year’s Eve. Kolasky added that it really picks up from 3 p.m. to midnight on Dec. 31.

Kolasky added that he won’t be shooting off any fireworks on the holiday since he’ll be working. However, he said that a few weeks after the holidays is when he’ll take some artillery shells of his own and head out to the country.

However, Kolasky said that he likes to promote safety with fireworks, and includes a list of safety rules with each purchase. Some of the rules include obeying your town or city ordinances concerning fireworks and making sure that adults supervise the firing of all fireworks.

Kolasky also said that fireworks must be fired more than 50 feet from a service station or public building.

Anyone using fireworks must be 200 feet away from a fireworks stand.

Lt. David Evans of the Selma Police Department said that not only is it illegal to set off fireworks within the city limits, but it’s also illegal to possess them.

However, Evans added, for the first offense people are given a warning. If they continue to break the law, though, then Evans said that the police would prosecute.

Evans said that while the worst time for fireworks being set off within the city limits is Independence Day, he expects some calls New Year’s Eve. Usually people call in complaining about the noise bothering them or their dogs, Evans said.

Other times people are worried about children setting off fireworks while unsupervised.

Evans recommends making sure the place you set fireworks off is a safe place that isn’t near anything that may catch on fire, and that definitely isn’t in the city limits. He also said to make sure you have permission from the landowner before you light the first fuse.