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Fireworks sales booming amid coronavirus pandemic

Maine firework store employees said they've made up for being closed for a few months with how busy they've been ahead of the Fourth of July.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Watching fireworks on the Fourth of July is a tradition that goes back centuries. The first Independence Day firework display was in Philadelphia in 1777. 

Still today, many people go and watch their town's display to celebrate.

But this year, most Fourth of July festivities, including fireworks, are canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's crazy. It's insane," Jenni Theriault said with a laugh. Theriault is the general manager at Phantom Fireworks in Scarborough.

Phantom was closed for about two months between March and June but Theriault said they've made up for all that lost time with all their business.

This time of year is always busy for Theriault and her team, "but we've gotten a definite boost," she said.

That boost is attributed to the coronavirus, as many people still want to watch fireworks even if their city or town isn't holding an event.

"A lot of people are coming in and doing their own set of fireworks to do their own Fourth of July this year," Theriault said.

One of those people is David Trimvle-Smith. He and his brother have been doing their own fireworks for the last few years.

"We've never liked large crowds with the kids we always liked our own special time together," he said.

Before Trimvle-Smith's family started their own tradition he said he did his research. Asking questions to the experts at firework stores and watching videos online about the best way to do it safely.

He urges anyone who is setting off fireworks to do the same.

Some safety tips from the experts include:

  • Be sure to be on a flat surface
  • Put the fireworks between two bricks or cinderblocks
  • Have buckets of water available
  • Be sure your guests are at least thirty feet away

If you're thinking about putting on your own firework show, visit Maine.gov's firework section to see the rules and regulations in your town.

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