TAMPA, Fla. - After a year like 2020, it’s no surprise that people are ready to kick off the new year with a bang.
"We’re all ready for 2020 to go away," said Sharon Hunnewell-Johnson, the president of Galaxy Fireworks in Tampa.
While folks were busy clearing store shelves for Christmas, employees at Galaxy Fireworks in Tampa were busy stocking their shelves. They know that the holiday rush ahead of New Year’s Eve is inevitable.
"It’s very busy leaving the end of the year. Christmas Eve was a big day for us," said Hunnewell-Johnson. "Then again everybody’s also stocking up from the near year season."
Just like it has been for everyone else, 2020 has been tough on the firework industry.
"Fireworks as a whole, the whole entire industry on the consumer side, it’s really tough. With shipping issues with China," said Hunnewell-Johnson.
However, with Less public firework shows offer due to the pandemic, Galaxy Fireworks has seen more customers coming through their doors.
"Fourth of July that was the main thing, because you had so many people that were home and not traveling for the holidays," said Hunnewell-Johnson. "That’s the same thing we are experiencing now. People didn’t go out of town for Christmas, they’re staying home for New Year’s, and with the firework shows that have been canceled again, they’re going to celebrate at home."
That means more backyard firework displays will be lighting up the night sky. Officials have shown us in the past what can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. Things can turn bad quickly. That’s why the first step to lighting off fireworks is to use common sense.
"Never mix alcohol with fireworks. And have somebody that is 18 or older, no children are to use fireworks. Especially even the sparklers. Believe it or not the wire the sparklers are one of the most dangerous items, especially for children."
The last where you want to end a year like 2020 is with a trip to the emergency room. Hunnewell-Johnson said to celebrate those final minutes of a very unprecedented year, just do so safely.
"I think everyone wants to get out of 2020. That’s the main objective here," said Hunnewell-Johnson.