GARFIELD, Texas - Things look a little different at American Fireworks in Garfield this year. Customers and staff are wearing masks, social distancing is being enforced and fireworks are flying off the shelves.
Store manager James Orozco says they really didn't know what to expect this year with the COVID-19 pandemic, but as more cities started canceling fireworks shows, their sales started booming. "This year sales have increased primarily in what we call our cakes which are multi-shot displays, kind of their boxes that do their own shows," he said.
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With several cities like Austin, Hutto, Marble Falls, Georgetown, and Cedar Park skipping their usual Fourth of July fireworks displays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are looking for ways to celebrate the holiday on their own.
"It's different like a lot of things you know life's changed and everything but I'm still going to try to celebrate Fourth of July and our independence," said Samuel Fernandez, who plans to set off his own fireworks. "It's part of the American way to come out here and pop fireworks, celebrate, and barbecue and that's what I'm gonna do, one way or another."
Scotty Abbegy says his neighborhood is putting on a fireworks show together. "We're setting it up on different parts of the neighborhood so you can still be all in front of our houses and see them," he said.
It is illegal to use or sell fireworks within Austin city limits. With many people planning their first time to light up the sky, distributors are encouraging everyone to follow safety guidelines and take necessary precautions.
The staff at American Fireworks do have to follow social distancing and occupancy guidelines, so they are recommending people come in sooner so they don't have to wait outside if there's a large crowd.
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