CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Amanda Herrera totals up the Salinas family’s purchase of fireworks at a fireworks stand north of Clovis.
By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico
Fireworks vendors in Curry and Roosevelt counties said sales are picking up as July 4 nears.
“We have been open since June 20 and have already had to order more fireworks,” said Karlee Johnson of TNT Fireworks in Clovis.
Johnson said that her family has operated the stand for four years and this year hot sellers are artillery shells.
“We have had a lot of adults come in and buy the artillery shells,” Johnson said. “We have one package that is double stacked with artillery and has over 500 shots.”
It is called the TNT Peace Maker, runs about $400 and is for a true firework enthusiast, Johnson said.
“Sales have been slow for the first week of operations but we expect them to increase this weekend,” said Lawrence Hill, a vendor at Mr. W. Fireworks in Portales. “We can sell the artillery shells and we have a wide variety of other fireworks that are allowed.”
Popular items include a 234 shot Saturn missile in the shape of the American Flag or with the 220-shot Amazing Ballet, Hill said. For the younger crowd there are 36-inch Morning Glory sparklers and a four-minute sparkler called Fire Exporative, Hill said.
However, fire department officials for Clovis and Portales advise that there is a ban on using aerial fireworks inside city limits.
Portales Fire chief John Bridges said even with the recent rains the area is still dry and the hazard for a fire is there.
“For Portales the ban includes Roman candles and bottle rockets, but shower fireworks such as artillery shells are allowed,” Bridges said.
A Roman candle or bottle rocket are flaming projectiles and when they land they are still hot, Bridges said. The sparks from an artillery shell typically are cold when they fall to the ground and pose less of a threat, Bridges said.
The city of Clovis has a city ordinance that has been long in place banning the use of artillery shells, according Clovis Fire Marshall Allan Silvers.
Fountain, smoke, ground and smoke devices are allowed inside city limits, Silvers said.
Fire works banned