NWA fireworks dealers say big fireworks for backyard shows are most popular

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Northwest Arkansas fireworks dealers say sales are popping this Fourth of July season.

The Fourth of July is always a favorite time for kids big and small, filled with the pride of American independence and the fun of fireworks.

Usually folks head out to Arvest Ballpark or The Walmart AMP for July 4th firework extravaganzas, but the hot sellers at local fireworks stands enable community members to put on firework shows of their own.

“I think that’s the direction it’s moving,” said Tommy Roy, who runs TNT Fireworks in the parking lot of the Walmart on Joyce Boulevard in Fayetteville. “People want to put on their own show because you can set your own pace. So if you want your fireworks show to last three or four hours, you can do that.”

Roy said his top selling fireworks are reloadable mortars, like the NX LEVER.

“It gives you a real fireworks show,” he said.

Reloadable mortars are also a big seller for Jake’s Fireworks, located in the parking lot of the Harps on Garland Avenue in Fayetteville, according to Jake’s co-proprietor Cody Barker.

A reloadable mortar is a ball-shaped firework with a long fuse that is dropped into a tube and lit.

“And if you’re smart, you’ll run, because this will shoot 130 feet in the air, and it will explode and look like a big, colorful flower,” Barker said.

Excalibur is another mortar that has been selling well, according to Jeff Craig, Jake’s Fireworks co-proprietor.

Premium Artillery Shells are a popular seller that packs a big bang, Craig said.

“These are as close as you can get to a show in the park,” Craig said. “People want to put on a [big] show in their back yard with a low budget.”

Both Craig and Roy said their respective sales have been strong this Fourth of July.

Mike Lawson, a Springdale City Council member who runs Phoenix Fireworks, located at the 1800 block of Pleasant Street next to Northwest Tire Service, said his sales were initially slow, but recently picked up significantly.

“Yesterday’s sales were really good and today’s sales were really good,” Lawson said Thursday. “And I think tomorrow’s sales will be really good because there are people who will shoot them off this weekend.”

Lawson said folks love putting on their own fireworks shows.

“What I’ve seen over the years, you get more and more of these neighborhoods — dads pooling their money together — and the neighborhood puts on a pretty good show,” Lawson said.

Lawson said he often sells out of the “big kid stuff,” such as the reloadable artillery shells and multi-shot cakes.

Kenneth England lives in Wesley, located just outside of Elkins. He and Amy O’Brien traveled to TNT Fireworks to purchase some fireworks.

“We want the big stuff for me to play with and the little ones for the kids,” England said.

Fireworks for youngsters, such as snappers, parachutes and cuckoo fountains, are reliable sellers at Jake’s Fireworks. Bottle rockets, however, are nowhere to be found at Jake’s and other local firework stands.

“You can’t sell anything with a stick,” Craig said. “They’re prohibited for sale in the city.”

Lawson expects folks will visit the countryside this weekend to shoot off fireworks. He said he will be selling fireworks into late Friday night and then close shop.

Jake’s Fireworks and TNT Fireworks will also continue selling fireworks Friday.

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