TWIN FALLS — The firework business is still booming for Independence Day despite concern for COVID-19, vendors say.
Jennifer Thompson and her family run a firework stand on Addison Avenue and Blue Lakes Boulevard. Thompson said she was a bit worried about business this year with an ongoing pandemic that’s had wide-ranging financial consequences.
But so far, turnout has been strong.
“Crazily, it’s been really good,” she said. “We’re off to a good start.”
Fourth of July is the first major U.S. holiday since Idaho has allowed larger groups to gather. The state is in Stage 4 of its reopening plan, which allows groups of any size as long as certain social distancing guidelines can be met.
Thompson said customers are noticeably excited for the holiday, and she is, too.
“People are wanting to gather and do something outside where you can still do social distancing,” she said. “It’s kind of a bummer when it’s over because this is what we look forward to all year long.”
Desiree Romano agreed. Romano is a stand operator for Family Fun Fireworks on Blue Lakes Boulevard near the Red Lion Hotel. She said people are excited to get back to something normal.
“I’m hoping this year will be nice and chill and relaxed and we can all just have a good time,” she said.
The business, which has been in the family for 43 years, has seen fine turnout so far, and more customers are expected as the holiday approaches, Romano said.
“It hasn’t been too bad,” she said. “We’ve been steady.”
Twin Falls firework rules
Residents can light fireworks in Twin Falls between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight through July 5. “Safe and sane” non-aerial fireworks are allowed, such as cone fountains, battle tanks, spinners and pinwheels
Using fireworks outside those dates and times can result in a fine up to $156.50 for each offense.
Aerial fireworks are not allowed in Twin Falls, such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman Candles, aerials, missiles, and other similar items — if it leaves the ground or explodes, it is illegal.
The city has several safety guidelines for people who buy fireworks:
- Only purchase and use fireworks that are permissible in your area
- Read the labels for proper use and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations
- Do not allow children to possess or use fireworks or novelty items without direct adult supervision
- Only use fireworks in a safe area that is clear of combustible materials
- Have a bucket of water and a garden hose nearby at all times
- Ensure that all spectators are a safe distance away from fireworks
- Be courteous and sensitive to the effects of the use of fireworks to your neighbors and pets
Fireworks show at CSI
Those who don’t want to buy their own fireworks but still want to participate can watch the city’s firework display hosted at College of Southern Idaho on July 4.
The event begins at about 10 p.m. and lasts about 30 minutes. Areas for seating will be available on campus and spectators are asked to maintain at least 10 feet from others outside their household.
Alcohol and personal fireworks are not allowed on campus.
The city will not close Falls Avenue or Washington Street this year to allow for thru traffic. North College Road between Washington Street and Frontier Avenue will be closed at 9 p.m.