(KFSM) — There are plenty of firework tents on both sides of the Arkansas-Oklahoma border, but rain and other factors are impacting business this year.
“With the fourth landing on a Tuesday, sales are kind of up in the air,” Angela Person said. “We don't know what to expect, when people are going celebrate, are they going to celebrate the weekend before, the Tuesday of, maybe the weekend after.”
Person is the co-owner of Cardinal Fireworks on Highway 271 on the outskirts of Fort Smith city limits. They opened their tent last weekend (June 22).
“Sales have been about normal this year despite the rain,” she said. “Since we are in a tent, we have to close down during periods of heavy rain, but so far so good.”
Every time it storms, employees are on high alert. They cover the inventory with tarps and close down the tent until it is safe to go back inside.
“It is very scary to be out in these tents when it rains,” Person said. “Our number one concern is the safety of our workers and the safety of customers.”
The rain is also affecting business at Family Fireworks right where I-540 ends in Pocola.
“It was very slow the first week,” employee Shariti Gipson said. “These last few days have picked up.”
Firework vendors in Oklahoma are also competing with more lenient laws in Arkansas.
“In Oklahoma, customers can't touch the fireworks,” Gipson said. “We have to get them for you. You have to be so many feet away.”
Both tents plan on staying open until July 5.
You can find a full list of fireworks rules and regulations by city, here.