Fireworks fanatics might take a holiday
By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer
The first day of fireworks sales was a bit of a bust.
"People with permits buying firecrackers?" said a clerk at the Daiei store in Kailua yesterday afternoon. "One, two maybe three."
Even sales of novelty items were slow, she said.
"Very slow," echoed a manager at the Daiei store on Kaheka Street in the Kapi'olani district. "There aren't a lot of people walking around looking at fireworks."
The sluggish sales follow a trend from 2000, when people were first required to buy a $25 permit to purchase up to 5,000 firecrackers. As of Friday, only 20 permits had been sold, said Dennis Taga of the city Department of Customer Services.
Several retailers, including Longs Drugs, Star Markets and Foodland, limited their fireworks selection or didn't stock any this year.
Sales will be allowed until 9 p.m. Thursday. The permits can be purchased at satellite city halls.
Fireworks in Hawai'i aren't as popular on Independence Day as they are at New Year's, but the dry weather leading up to July Fourth makes their use even more dangerous.
"This is the worse time of the year," said Capt. Richard Soo, Fire Department spokesman.
Fireworks may be set off legally from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. Soo suggested that homeowners consider wetting down their roofs.
He advised that people using fireworks carefully supervise children and keep a hose handy. Or, better yet, he suggested, don't set off fireworks and go to the public displays instead.