I realize it’s a little late for this, but I’m just now coming to realize how relatively quiet the month of June was because July has already started to return to the same state of normalcy because, for the most part, the “buy one, get way-morethan you-need- free” parking lot fireworks sales tents are mostly packed up and gone.
Over the last decade or so, at least in my neck of the woods, these temporary sales outlets have normally set up shop around the first of June and closed down around mid-July. As a result, way too many fans of the Fourth of July have, in this young century, begun celebrating the Fourth of July on the first of June.
Actually, I doubt that the holiday even crosses the minds of most of these early birds. They just simply love things that go BOOOMMM! And I am beyond curious as to why they set them off at all hours of the day.
Apparently the noise they make is far more important to many fireworks customers than the light show they would have offered if the purchasers had waited to fire them after dark as opposed to noon or any other given time in broad daylight throughout the week.
However, this year seemed vastly different from years gone by. If the retail tents set up several weeks before the Fourth this year, I didn’t see any until the last week of June, nor was there an ongoing booming throughout the month that I had come to recognize as normal.
I never actually noticed any firework activity until the last week of June and, as I already mentioned, this first full week of July is also much quieter than it has been in years past. I’m assuming, or at least speculating, that the fireworks merchants decided to hang on to their inventories instead of unloading them through post-Fourth sales where customers could buy one and get a dozen free. It did seem to me that there were as many homegrown fireworks going on last Saturday and Sunday night as there were on the Fourth, so maybe I just missed the sales. But the backyard booming during the weekend after the Fourth was nowhere close to what it has been in recent history.
I am among those guilty of setting off fireworks on occasion during the “off-season” because nothing quiets a pack of barking dogs or coyotes as well as a pack of firecrackers thrown in their direction. I still shoot a couple of bottle rockets over my garden most nights in early to mid-July in a feeble attempt to scare ‘coons out of my sweet corn. Before discovering bird-scare ribbon, I frequently shot off a bottle rocket anytime a flock of flying rats (starlings/ cowbirds) flew within a couple or three hundred yards of my place. Laugh all you want. It may aggravate the neighbors but it works. And I only do during the two-week period when sweet corn needs protection.
One neighbor told me that the prices on fireworks had gone up so much this year that teenagers could no longer afford to buy carloads of the big boomers that literally sound like dynamite blasts. Plus, he pointed out, he actually saw two different sellers refusing to sell them to kids who were obviously younger than 18. That may also be a reason why June was not its normal steady roar.
I haven’t bothered to check prices in at least five years because I got in on one of those shut-down sales in 2012 or 2013 whereby I wound up with six gross packs of bottle rockets after paying eight bucks for the first one. I got the same deal on firecrackers and pretty well stocked up for life. Do the math. Eight hundred sixty-four bottle rockets is more than plenty to last for a fellow who shoots off maybe 50 a year. And I do even fewer firecrackers.
But I am still grieving over the fact that I didn’t go to the tent just down the road where I could have gotten a dozen packs for the price of one, not that I’d have had any use for them.