Intermittent rain Tuesday didn’t stop Joey Lloyd and his two teenage sons from shopping for fireworks.
The trio hit Wacky Wayne’s near Interstate 20 in North Augusta and filled their baskets with mortars, bottle rockets, Roman candles and other fireworks for a show they were planning in their quiet cul-de-sac, a tradition the family has continued for four years.
“The boys go out there and shoot ’em all off and we sit down and watch it,” Lloyd said. “I’ve been training them for years, and now I get to watch the show.”
Lloyd, who was a little skeptical about the weather, set out to spend between $100 and $150 on this year’s show.
Lloyd and his sons were among a dozen shoppers at Wacky Wayne’s, where fireworks range in price from 25 cents to $600 for a 7-foot-tall assortment called the Big Bang.
“I’ve seen about the same amount of movement,” said store manager Skip Playford, of the store’s traffic compared to previous years. “It’s been pretty steady even with the rain.”
As in years past, Playford said customers continue to head straight for the aisle with mortar/artillery shell fireworks, which are loud, colorful and go high in the sky.
“They want the big stuff,” he said.
Just down the street from Wacky Wayne’s – at Fireworks Giant – manager Vince Phillips said shoppers also go for the artillery firework sets, particularly the Red Devil pack that contains 12 assorted shells.
The rain, Phillips said, hasn’t seemed to deter people from buying at the store off West Martintown Road.
“I think people love the Fourth, and they’re gong to shoot fireworks rain or shine,” he said. “If it’s raining on the Fourth then they’ll do it this weekend.”
Jennifer Lewis, a sales associate at Rodney’s Rockets, also just off I-20 near North Augusta, said the multishot, aerial “cake” fireworks have been the top seller.
The store has been seeing Fourth of July traffic since Memorial Day weekend, she said.
“We have everything from a $20 sale to $700 or $800,” Lewis said. “It just depends on what they’re doing.”
Both she and Playford agreed that July 3rd and 4th typically generate the most fireworks sales. Lewis, however, said the rain has put somewhat of a damper on business.
“The weather is just not cooperating right now,” she said.