Fireworks vendors make final sales push for Fourth festivities

Ka-Boomers Fireworks distributor Terry Manternach pushes for those Fourth of July sales.

For just over a month, several Corridor communities turn into tent central for fireworks distributors looking to earn some extra income.

The selling period is at its heights the week leading up to the Fourth of July, when vendors see a spike in customers that drives revenue through the roof.

The window for selling stretches from June 1 to July 8, with the final days immediately following the Independence Day festivities rendered relatively useless for those wishing to shoot off fireworks, as the law deters the post-Fourth pyrotechnics.

Some pop-up shops pack up starting at 12:01 a.m. on July 5, sending remaining inventory back to the primary distributor.

Others stick around through July 8, implementing strategies to sell off their final fireworks.

Bobby Sero manages a tent off Bowling Street Southwest in Cedar Rapids for Des Moines-based Iowa Fireworks Company, and predicts a potential savings opportunity for buyers after the holiday, as deals may be had and prices may be slashed.

Customers have been curious, Sero admits.

"It's hard to guess what deals there will be, because that goes through Des Moines," said Sero, "but we do expect to sell out either way."

Local vendors are reporting a collective sales shortage compared to last year, the decrease being attributed to tighter laws for users and changes in zoning that force tents in Cedar Rapids to be located in industrial areas, rather than the commercial zones they previously occupied.

Still, distributors say they've moved thousands -- some even tens-of-thousands -- of dollars in inventory in each of the past few days.

Sero said he's hopeful

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