CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Most municipal fireworks displays across the country and Northeast Ohio have been canceled due to COVID-19.
Now, people are looking to create their own entertainment. It has business booming at local consumer fireworks stores, like Phantom Fireworks, in West Salem.
Bryan Rogers was at the store Friday to find some for a display he planned to put on Saturday in his back yard for friends and family. He said he comes to the store every Fourth of July. This Memorial Day Weekend, he was looking for something that provides a bit of a bang to it.
“Some mortars or some bottle rockets," Rogers said. "Just some silly stuff. Something a little bit explosive. Just a little bit of fun.” He said he wants to “Get something in the air and make it go boom.”
Rogers said since they canceled the shows, "I kind of want to do something but not a big one.”
Akron’s traditional downtown fireworks and Solon’s July Fourth fireworks display were both canceled. But Phantom is expecting that to make them even busier with people like Rogers, looking to do their own.
Vice President of Phantom Fireworks Ron Zoldon said customers would like to do their own show with a lot of firework shows are being canceled.
“[Customers] do come in and tell us their local shows have been canceled this year, so they’re looking to us to supplement that show this year and we are doing everything we can.”
Phantom is expecting this to drive sales of fireworks, more people will be doing backyard shows looking to stay away from crowds. Sales in the early stages since mid-may for the stores that are actually open are doing much more business than last year.
Rogers said this weekend, he wants to bring a little bit of happiness into people’s lives.
“Just trying to make something a little better than what everybody’s going through with all the downtime and trying to lift up the spirits.”
Zoldon said they also offer safety equipment for setting off fireworks.
“Keep a water source, a bucket, lights, goggles, things like pyro-torches, so you can put some more distance between yourself and the product as you’re lighting it," Zoldon said.
Phantom Fireworks’ best practices for those who have legally purchased fireworks:
• Children should never handle fireworks.
• Do not mix fireworks with alcohol.
• Follow the local laws.
• Purchase your fireworks from reliable, licensed sources.
• Always keep a water source nearby just in case anything were to go awry.
• Read all directions, cautions, labels, and warnings on each individual firework item to understand the product performance and hazards associated with it.
• Light fireworks on a hard, flat, and level surface to ensure the stability of the items. If needed, bury or brace the item.
• Always light your fireworks in a clear, open area away from buildings, vehicles, and shrubbery. A minimum clear radius of 30 feet for fountains and other ground-based items and 140 feet for any aerial product is recommended.
• Never attempt to re-light, alter, or fix any “dud” firework item.
• NEVER USE THE FIREWORKS FOR A “FIRE FIGHT”: Never aim, point, or throw any fireworks at another person or at any property.
• Lastly, use common sense.