Fireworks vendors say bans will cost them dearly

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Tomorrow would have been the first day fireworks could be sold, but bans region wide puts a stop on the Fourth of July tradition.

Today, both Polk and Nacogdoches counties jumped on the bandwagon to ban the sale and use of all fireworks.

This July 4th Nacogdoches fireworks vendor Kevin Dillon may be the only one stepping into his firework stand.

"I never gave the first thought to the fact that we wouldn't be selling fireworks," said Dillon. "I'm 51 years old and I have never not sold fireworks on July 4th."

2011 is different.most counties began passing fire work bans last week when burn indexes reached critical levels.

Nacogdoches and Polk counties didn't declare a local disaster until this week. Governor Rick Perry had to approve an extension to July 5th.

"We discussed it and cussed it for two days," said Nacogdoches County Commissioner Jim Elder. "We've gotten tons of phone calls on both sides of the issue, but I think for the benefit of the safety and security of the 60,000 residents in our county this was the right decision."

Dillon pays college tuitions with the money he makes off fireworks. Now he's stuck with thousands of dollars of inventory until New Year's.

"By far, the largest and best season is July 4th," said Dillon in front of boxes of fireworks he had planned to unpack today.

Many vendors were expecting a compromise, such as letting the kids have at least non flying fireworks.

"Here's a small item that at any time a kid could use," said Dillon as he picked up a box. "A pagoda. It makes a little Chinese house. Pops up, lights up on the ground. Never leaves the ground. A real good product."

Steve Justice, a Shelby County firework vendor, is making one last attempt to keep his firework stands open. "We're asking that we just open the first through the fourth," said a hopeful Justice. "Voluntarily stop opening tomorrow and we're asking the county for July 1st through July 4th."

Chances are potential customers will head to town to watch professional firework displays. Lufkin and Nacogdoches are offering firework displays.

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