ELM MOTT, TX — As of 11:59 p.m. on Independence Day, the fireworks sales season is over in Texas. For at least one stand, it was one of the best years for sales in recent history.
Even with a nationwide struggle with fireworks supply, Daniel Fitzgerald saw more people in his store this year than he did in the last ten years that he's owned the shop.
His store, Stars & Stripes Fireworks, is located just off of I-35 in Elm Mott.
"People felt more comfortable to get together, and so it caused a lot more family get togethers, and that's what I think drove a higher demand for fireworks," Fitzgerald said.
While many of his fellow fireworks stores sold out early this year, Fitzgerald bought extra inventory this year. In fact, he said he spent about two and a half times more than last year.
Now, he's left to store his leftover stock and clean up his shop.
"We store our fireworks in a climate-controlled environment so that humidity and moisture doesn't get to it, so we'll package up everything that's in here and get it stored and then, it's cleanup time," Fitzgerald said.
Those fireworks will be stored until he prepares to reopen in December.
In Texas, fireworks sales are only permitted during select times of the year. The Fourth of July season runs from June 24 to July 4. The Christmas and New Year's season runs from December 20 to January 1. Counties within 100 miles of the Mexican border are also permitted to allow sales from May 1 to May 5.
Eimanie Karina-Marie Thomas, a Texas State graduate, and her friend stopped by Stars & Stripes Monday afternoon looking to buy sparklers. The pair didn't realize the sales period had already ended.
"Pretty disheartening, very disheartening," Thomas said.
But Fitzgerald will already be looking ahead to the next sales season as soon as he's done cleaning up his shop.
"My next season starts as soon as I close the previous season," Fitzgerald said.