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Bringing the boom

Posted on Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 10:53 am

Fireworks sales on the rise this year

By Stan Schwartz

BOWLING GREEN—Last Friday, the day was hot and the shade trees were not giving much relief, but that didn’t slow the fireworks sales going on at Chris Peak’s roadside stand on Hwy. 161, just south of Bus. 61.
With the state opening back up, Peak said, business has been booming (small pun intended). Besides his regular customers, Peak said he’s been getting lots of people he’s never seen before buying fireworks.
Because people have been trapped at home for so long, Peak said, they’re just now getting out to do things, and with the 4th of July just around the corner, they want to show a little Spirit of ’76.
Business has been up across the board, he said, for everyone selling fireworks. Peak had spoken with the fire marshal earlier, who told him people who have never purchased fireworks before are buying them this year. Because of that, Peaks said it brings up some safety concerns for him.
“I just want people to be safe,” he said, when they’re shooting off their fireworks.
“I’m always trying to explain to people how to take care of and set up their fireworks displays,” he said. They need to keep the fireworks separated and not shoot a bunch of stuff off at the same time. They should not use the same tube for every mortar they shoot off.
“It could end up blowing the bottom off the tube and end up on the ground,” he explained. He really likes his customers and wants to see them back next year.
“Everybody is good people around here,” Peak said. This is the eighth year he’s set up along Rt. 161 south of town, but Peak has been in the fireworks business for more than 10 years.
There’s a new Emoji Fountain that recently came out, he said, that people like. But like most years, his biggest sellers are the cake fireworks. He noted that they give more bang for the buck.
“We went up in Cakes this year,” he said. “We have way more than we’ve ever had.” People like them, he added, because they’re easy to use. One light and you get 16 shots, 24 shots ore more.
Big show planned
Because he appreciates his customers so much, Peak said, he like to give back to the community every year by putting on a fireworks display of his own. This year, it will be on July 4 in the field across from where his fireworks stand is now. He promises a pretty spectacular display this year.
“It will probably be the biggest show we’ve done—ever,” he said. “I went a different route this year with the show.” Normally he has one or two of the big cake cases set aside for the show. This year he has 30 of them.
“It’s just our little bit of giving back,” he said. “They give so much to us. This has been such a great place to be.” Community is important to Peak, because of how much they support him.
Working with him at the stand on Friday was his girlfriend, Tina Graver. But this is not her only job. Peak said she works three jobs, plus helps him take care of his Mom at home.
Peak said he promised his Mom that he would always take care of her, no matter what. “She’s really important to me. She’s a big part of this, because she loves this, too,” he added, indicating the fireworks stand. “She’s not up here as much as she wants to be, but she’s up here in heart.” He will make sure she is there on the 4th, because all her grandchildren will be there, too. Between him and Graver, they had three grandchildren born in the last two months.
Some of the profits will be shifted over to college funds for the grand kids, he said.
Graver was helping a customer with her purchase at the time.
Sarrah Gigous, with the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, was there picking up a few things for her family. There were some loose items and one big package on the counter.
“I didn’t know what else to get,” she said, “so I got the variety pack.”
Graver said people usually by a mix of items—some loose and some variety packs.
Leading up to the 4th of July, Peak said, people come in to buy little items to shoot off with their family. Soon they come back to get the big items to shoot off on Independence Day. He pointed to his tent stand and said he’s never finished up the season without the tent being empty.