June 23, 2011

Ready... Aim... Fire! Fireworks Season Officially Open

by Hannah Kiddoo

Monday marked the official start of fireworks sales in Scotland County. Local stands have been gearing up for months, planning for the large crowds and buyers from not just the county, but also across the state border.

Tim and Jan Cook of Tim and Jan's Fireworks explained that operating a fireworks stand is a full-time job. "We're always doing something," said Tim Cook.

The Cooks, like most owners, attend shows where fireworks are displayed, purchase from a variety of distributors throughout the nation, and research new products throughout the year. As a result, they are well versed in what each product does and enjoy meeting and helping customers choose fireworks that are appropriate for their individual needs.

To maximize a fireworks experience, it is helpful for customers to know what they would like for a display before visiting a stand. If unsure of how to locate a firework with a specific feature such as color, sound or size, ask a sales representative; chances are they will have a solution.

Tim Cook noted that even the most popularly purchased items are not right for everyone. As a stand, their goal is to find out what customers do and don't like and work to match that with a price range and budget.

As citizens begin to light sparklers, roman candles, firecrackers and other fireworks, they are urged to remember and follow safety guidelines and city laws.

According to the Memphis City code, fireworks of any kind may only be discharged between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. and should only be used on personal properties with the permission of owners. Fireworks are prohibited at all times on any land owned, operated or leased by the City of Memphis within the corporate city limits. In addition, fireworks discharge is only allowed until July 10.

Safety should be exercised at all times when using fireworks.

"A lot of people do get hurt if it's not properly done," stressed Tim Cook.

Be mindful of children when using fireworks and know how products work. If concerned about the manner in which a firework should be discharged or whether a certain firework is safe for a particular venue, consult with the seller.

For those who prefer to leave fireworks to the professionals, there are opportunities to view quality displays within Scotland County. The Scotland County Care Center and Scotland County Residential Terrace will welcome guests to their annual parking lot show beginning at dusk on Thursday, June 30. The Catfish Place will also host a public display during their 37th annual show starting at dusk on Saturday, July 3.

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