Firework sales in Livingston Parish are a mixed bag

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - While it may be one of the biggest firework holidays of the year, in some areas hit hardest by last year's flood, firework sales are a mixed bag.

Corey Hingle runs a firework stand in Watson. He says not only are customers not buying – they are simply not coming.

"It's been crazy slow," Hingle said. "Yesterday was the first day that we had a substantial difference, pick up."

The cause of the lack of business is anyone's guess. Some believe it's because Watson is still recovering from the flood and residents are focused on rebuilding. Hingle, meanwhile, blames the recent rainy weather, saying people had other priorities when last weekend rolled around.

"They were at outside activities and they weren't outside shopping, they were with family. It was just such a beautiful weekend," said Hingle.

Across town, other firework salespeople are singing a more upbeat tune. At a tent just outside of the Walmart, the saleswoman says firework sales are largely par for the course compared to previous years. She said they usually don't get busy until the night before the holiday or on Independence Day itself.

Statewide, the number of permitted firework stands is down slightly compared to last year. In 2016, there were 710 permitted locations. This year, there are 693. However, it remains to be seen whether they all open up for business.

In Denham Springs, Kyle Lewis says sales at his tent near the Bass Pro Shops have been average, with a steady flow of people over the past few days. "We're about just where our numbers need to be for a successful season," said Lewis.

Even so, everyone is still holding out for Monday night and Tuesday, crossing their fingers for a last-minute rush.

"I'm hoping it will be very busy for me," said Hingle.

Many firework stands remain open through Wednesday, shutting down a day after the holiday.

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