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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Area fireworks stands gear up for patriotic 4th

Sunday, June 23, 2002

(Photo)
Chris Cole, Sarah Heckemeyer, Jaime Medlin and Jim Groner of Groner Fireworks stock tables with fireworks Friday.
MINER - With patriotic feelings still running high following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, this year's observance of Independence Day will be a good one, according to area firework vendors.

"I think its going to be a big celebration," said Alfred Mays of Mays Brothers Fireworks, located on the Piggly Wiggly lot in Miner. "One of the biggest ones ever and we're geared up for it."

Mays Brothers Fireworks, Groner's Fireworks and other seasonal firework vendors began selling their wares Thursday. After little more than a full day of sales, Mays can see evidence his prediction will prove true. "We've already got people excited," said Mays.

In light of the heightened security and concerns about terrorist activity on a day Americans celebrate freedom, Jim Groner of Groner's Fireworks on Malone Avenue said he believes many area residents are "planning on making this one of the best Fourth of Julys ever just to prove that they can."

Both packaging and the fireworks themselves this year are showing a strong patriotic theme in light of recent events. Shelves are filled with fireworks sporting names like "Power of Pride," "America Rising" and "Freedom Reigns." Fireworks such as "Thor Missiles" have become "Patriot Missiles," Groner said, and tanks have been renamed "Abrams Tanks."

"There will be a lot of red, blue and silver in your fireworks this year," said Groner. He explained the silver is used in fireworks in place of white.

In addition to focusing on the patriotic theme, the tradition of developing bigger and better displays continues among firework producers as well. "They keep changing and getting bigger," said Mays.

The "Home of the Brave," a 16-shot aerial firework, boasts 500 grams of gunpowder. "Probably twice the size as some of the biggest things we had last year," Mays said.

Groner said one product his stand is carrying features 16,000 firecrackers. "You just roll it out and light it," he said.

For those with a soft spot for the old favorites, however, Kaleidoscopes, Happy 36-shots, 100-shot Saturn missiles, jumbo cones, ground bloom flowers, firecrackers and all the rest are all available. "We still have the old standbys," Mays said.