Fireworks season begins this week

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COLUMBIA- Fireworks season opened Monday signaling the beginning of preparations for the July 4 holiday.

Missouri is one of 21 states that have seasonal selling limits. Each year, the Missouri Division of Fire Safety permits more than 1,200 seasonal retailers to sell consumer fireworks.

They are allowed to sell fireworks from June 20 through July 10, and from December 20 through January 2.

Bob Gerau, owner of Bob’s Fireworks, said his business doesn’t usually pick up when the season first starts.

“Not until the last four days. It kills us,” he said. “It’s a mad house, and there’s a reason for that. Not that people are just late. But if people buy fireworks and take them home, kids will pester the dickens out of them. Buying them later lessens that.”

Gerau said some stores in Missouri are able to sell fireworks year-round, but the fireworks business is only lucrative near the Fourth of July and New Year’s holidays.

He said, while business is good during the holiday periods, owning a seasonal business can be difficult.

“The narrow window you have to sell is a large challenge,” he said.

Gerau said the firework business is comparable to farming because the effort put in does not guarantee success.

“It’s a roll of the dice. You dump a lot of money into it and you’re not gonna know until October or November whether you’re going to make any money,” he said.