Local business owners say fireworks sales are booming once again.
Since Georgia passed legislation in 2015 allowing the sale and use of fireworks, stores have been offering the products to customers, although often seasonally. Jason Sillay, owner of Xtreme Xplosives Fireworks Inc. in Gainesville, said sales are usually only high around the Fourth of July and New Years holidays.
"98 percent of the sales I would say, yeah, are going to be on the third and fourth of July and December 31," Sillay said.
Sillay said his business also sells items like wedding sparklers and gender reveal smoke to supplement the holiday sales.
Some companies, such as TNT Fireworks, will offer retail opportunities for people to set up small fireworks stands for limited times in parking lots and other commercial areas. Brothers Benjamin and Arturo Alfaro of Alpharetta have been operating such seasonal stands for TNT Fireworks for three years and this year were assigned to operate one on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville. They say sales at stands typically pick up around July 2.
"The fourth is usually when everyone comes in, especially late at night," Arturo Alfaro said. "Everyone comes in last minute."
Both Alfaro and Sillay said large fireworks shells have been highest-selling items so far this season. They say that is good for the businesses because they are normally the highest-priced items. Alfaro said that despite large shells selling the most, there is still a large variety of items being purchased.
"We have a lot of big stuff, but we range all the way down to kid novelties and a good mix of everything," Alfaro said.
Sillay said his store has been operating since the state law passed in 2015 and he said fireworks have improved from year-to-year since that time.
"We did huge sales prior to the law passing even with sparkler-class, so the interest was there," Sillay said. "It's only grown since then."
Sillay's store features signs advising people to use fireworks safely and to be aware of local noise ordinances. He said fireworks cannot be shot after midnight in most areas, with the only exception being New Years.
Sillay also said anyone shooting fireworks should avoid drinking, use gloves and make sure to secure large shells to avoid misfires.
Click here for a list of Fourth of July events around North Georgia.