Firework favorites differ

Published 8:12 pm Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cathy Turner, manager of USA Fireworks, shows the Goliath display, her personal favorite. Turner said the displays people choose depend on personal preferences and vary greatly. -- Alison McFerrin

By Alison McFerrin

The Selma Times-Journal

Monday night, bright colors and loud noises will fill the night air as fireworks are shot, celebrating our nation’s independence. But locations to purchase these marvels are as limited as the fireworks themselves.

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Firework stands pop up about twice a year — Fourth of July and New Year’s. Cathy Turner manages one such stand, USA Fireworks, near Valley Grande on Citizens Parkway.

“When I first started, I didn’t know nothing about fireworks,” Turner said. Turner has been managing the Valley Grande fireworks stand owned by Ricky and Joy Post from Prattville since 2008. “Believe it or not, I love all of it.”

Fireworks stands generally go up for about two weeks around the two holidays, Turner said.

Gary Crum owns Discount Fireworks on U.S. Highway 80 S.

“The best part about is, we’re the only organization that’s locally owned and operated,” said Crum, who is from Selma. “Everybody else is out of towners.”

Crum said the fireworks stand is his only business. Turner said she thinks fireworks stand are the Posts only business — they own 22 — but she does other things throughout the year, like cleaning houses and selling Avon. But Turner said she loves the fireworks business.

“I like dealing with people,” Turner said. “I like explaining to them what they do. I like the fireworks, because it’s exciting.”

Crum also said the peoples’ reaction is a big reason he enjoys the business.

“I just like seeing smiles on people’s faces as they are making their purchases and excited about doing their backyard displays,” Crum said.

Firework favorites differ by person — “Boys like the boom, and girls like the color. I’ve done figured that out,” Turner said with a laugh — but one preference, the variety pack, is a constant at both these local stands.

“Because of the economy, people found them more affordable,” Crum said.

Crum said other favorites include the artillery shells and the bottle rockets. Turner said her top sellers are sparklers, Water Dynamite and her personal favorite, the Goliath.

Fireworks stands may be temporary businesses, but they still have to follow all the rules.

Turner said the stands require a business license, have to be so many miles outside of the city limits and have to be checked out the fire marshal.