EUGENE, Ore. -- A local fireworks stand is crediting the coronavirus pandemic for skyrocketing sales of fireworks this Fourth of July.
Kristy Taylor, tent manager at a stand on Chad Drive in Eugene, has been selling fireworks for 21 years. Taylor said this year has been record-setting.
“It’s been out of this world. It’s been crazy. Yesterday I had the biggest third I’ve ever had and I have stuff that I’m sold out of that I’ve never ever sold out of on the third of July,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s stand and seven others in the Eugene-Springfield area are operated by Crossfire Ministries, which has a church in Eugene and in Springfield. Taylor said the fireworks sales are their biggest fundraiser, and this year's sales have been off the charts. Even though many vendors opened more than a week ago, Taylor said July 4 is still the biggest day of sales for many stands.
Another employee said between all the Crossfire Ministries-operated stands, about $1 million in fireworks have been sold, about a 35 to 40 percent increase over last year. Afte business expenses, the profit from sales will be put back into the church and boosting local outreach.
Industry analysts have reported the United States normally has about 16,000 large fireworks displays on the Fourth of July, but 90 percent of those aren’t happening.
“Normally we would actually sit at home out in Dexter and watch the fireworks show over the lake. So, since we can’t do that this year, we’re just going to improvise,” said Lisa Martin, a Dexter resident.
Fireworks stands must close by July 6, and Taylor said merchandise will be discounted between 50 and 70 percent after the Fourth of July.