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Red, white and boom: Inflation isn't deterring local fireworks sales

by SUMMER ZALESKY Daily Inter Lake
| July 1, 2022 12:00 AM

Fireworks seem to remain a necessary part of Montana’s Independence Day festivities as many local vendors haven’t seen sales drop despite rising prices caused by inflation.

According to local vendors, sales so far have been similar compared to last year, with mostly locals buying. However, it is still too early to verify the stability of the firework industry as the majority of sales are made between July 3-4.

“We know that inflation has affected prices and this is probably one of the easier things to cut out, so we really hope we can keep things fun, and not let fireworks die out,” said Trevor Rice, owner of the Pyromania stand in Bigfork.

Though this year has presented high prices, Rice said that Pyromania took an even bigger hit between 2020 and 2021.

“Last year, our merchandise got caught up in freights on the coast and Covid was still shutting things down,” he said.

Rice’s grandparents, Larry and Dorothy Clinkenbeard, started Pyromania 50 years ago and the business is family-owned and operated.

“My dad runs the stand in Seeley Lake and my mom runs the stand in Polson,” Rice said. “We love it.”

The family hopes fireworks will remain a staple to celebrate the Fourth of July.

In Evergreen, Lane Little of Robinson’s Fireworks said sales are a bit slower, but not as much as he had expected. With the U.S.-Canada border reopened, Little noted that he has seen more Canadian tourists than the past two years.

“From what I’ve seen, we have the same amount of [national] tourists buying, but we will make most of our sales on the Fourth,” he added.

Firework vendors are allowed to make sales through July 5, per Montana state law.

Proper adherence to regulations in each city is pertinent as each jurisdiction has their own laws regarding fireworks. Fireworks are not allowed on any national forest or state land due to the risk of fires.

“Have fun and be safe.” Rice said. “Supervise the kids and have water nearby.”

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