Fireworks vendors hope for big payday on New Year's after July 4th shutout

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Ross Black looks over his fireworks supply, stocked up from a year of no sales.

< Ross Black/Fireworks stand owner:> "Not only was it devastating to us economically," Black said. "The kids around here were just heartbroken."

A ban on the sale and use of fireworks made it illegal for Black's stand to operate during the Fourth of July.

With New Year's Eve more than a month off, he wonders if he'll be able to open shop this season.

"We've been sitting on them for two seasons and it's time to move them and I certainly hope the Lord blesses us with a lot more rain," he said.

Although the burn ban is lifted, fireworks fall under a different local government code.

The county has to decide by December 15 if they'll ban certain fireworks, which include missiles on fins and rockets on sticks.

A total ban, like last year would require the governor's office to get involved.

"We would try to give them as much notice as we can," said Angelina County Judge Wes Suiter. "Again, we don't control the weather."

Suiter says if the county continues to receive some rainfall, then these stands should be able to sell fireworks, but for now, the stand owners will just have to wait and see.

"Right now there's a glimmer of hope and we're certainly depending on that to come through," Black said.

His stands on U.S. 69 North are climate-controlled, so his stock won't go bad in the humidity like some.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed," Black said. "Every year they come out with new things. Of course, we'll probably miss out on that this year because we're stocked to the hilt."

They've invested thousands of dollars into this family business.

"I'm tired of macaroni and cheese you know but this is not make or break, but it is extra gravy for the biscuit," Black said. "When you have a limited income, then any little bit helps."

"It's not an easy decision to tell somebody, 'Hey, you're can't make your livelihood this year,'" Suiter said.

Black hopes to have an answer soon that will send him unpacking.

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