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What makes small town firework stands special

todayJuly 3, 2024 2

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COLTON, S.D. (KELO) — The Fourth of July is tomorrow, which means for the past week firework stands have been covering the sides of the roads.

You know it’s almost the Fourth of July when you see the firework stands popping up across the state. Near Colton, Butch’s Fireworks has been in business for over 30 years. Bill Eckhoff took over the stand when his father-in-law passed away, but his life consists of more than just fireworks.

“What really pays the bills is I work in RV sales. I’m a rep for a bunch of different manufacturers and call on dealers. And then we do this, this during the summer. And then again at New Year’s Eve,” Butch’s Fireworks, Bill Eckhoff said.

What’s open, closed on the Fourth of July

While it’s a short season, Eckhoff says that a lot of people don’t understand how much time it takes to run a firework stand.

“Even though we’re only open for nine days, it’s two or three months worth of work,” Eckhoff said.

But all that work is worth it in the end.

“I think it’s just like working with the little kids and seeing how happy they are finding the fireworks and then, of course, being a big kid myself and then shooting them off at night. There’s a lot of pleasure still in getting to shoot the fireworks,” Eckhoff said.

Since 2017, Grand Slam Fireworks has been in Canistota.

“Our family has always loved the 4th of July. We love baseball. We love supporting everything military. And just how can we how can we live that? How can we be part of that in our community? Didn’t have anything for fireworks at the time,” Grand Slam Fireworks, Misty Miller said.

One thing the Millers think people don’t realize about stands is the variety of their product.

“I think people overlook the small stands as to what they can offer. We have it all big, the small. We’ve got it all, we’ve got it covered. We just have it in a smaller quantity so we can do the big ones. We can do a show for you,” Miller said.

As they do much more than just bring fireworks to the town.

“We provide support, whether it be through the school, the churches, whatever. We can continue to give back because we have a small stand. But just so that you can shop local close to home and you don’t have to make that trek,” Miller said.

In Canton, the Rock Brothers have been working with fireworks for most of their life.

“This is our 55th year of selling fireworks. So I was– I was 11 and can barely look over the counter on the first stand,” Rock’s Fireworks, Bernie & Paul Rock said.

For them, the 4th of July has become a reunion of sorts.

Pet safety for the Fourth of July

“After I joined the service, had gone for 36 years. Some years I couldn’t get back from deployment yet. But when I do get back, I know I get to see my friends because they all come out here shopping and I get to see them. Their kids and grandkids too,” Paul Rock said.

Rock says customers also appreciate the small-town feel.

“It’s a community thing. We’ve been here forever. They know if something doesn’t go right, we’re here and we’ll take care of it. And this is our town, our family,” Paul Rock said.

If there is one thing that all three of the stands can agree on, it’s that they want everyone to have a safe Fourth of July.

“And that’s always one of the big things is we talk to our customers about how to safely light as well as where to pick an area to light so that they don’t have to worry about the fall out on hay bales or something crazy like that,” Eckhoff said.

“And then you can put on your show at night with the big ones that knowing where the kids are at, just keep it light, friendly, family fun, but safety is the number one thing,” Miller said.

“Still use caution like after you shoot your firework. Please don’t put it in the garbage. Just leave it, sit outside and soak it down really good. You know, leave it out overnight and just let it completely go out and just be safe and have fun. That’s what it’s all about,” Bernie Rock said.

You should know Summer’s family owns a firework business in eastern South Dakota.

Their shop is different than the seasonal stands, because they are licensed to sell year-round.

Fireworks can be sold in South Dakota until Friday.

People have until Sunday to shoot them off.

Rock’s Fireworks: 28201 West Avenue, Canton, SD.

Grand Slam Fireworks: 38 Ash Street, Canistota, SD,

Butch’s Fireworks: 46572 250th Street, Colton, SD.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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