BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) — At Uncle Sam’s Fireworks in Howard, staff members are getting used to operating in a pandemic.
“I’ve been sewing away, we have fancy ones and we have disposable ones,” Co-Owner Deb Decker said of the masks she’s made for her team. “When you first come in the door we have sanitizer and disposable masks available for our customers.”
Those aren’t the only changes brought on by the Coronavirus.
“We’ve started off much busier,” Decker said. “This year we’ve had more new customers than ever. People are ready to have fun after being cooped up all winter and that’s what we have here, we sell affordable family fun.”
She added that there’s been an increase in families purchasing fireworks to create their own displays for the upcoming national holiday in lieu of attending a professional show.
Area fire deparments have also noticed the uptick in at home fireworks.
“We already have seen a few more calls firework-related in the city,” Lt. Shauna Walesh of the Green Bay Metro Fire Department said.
It’s a trend that they anticipated with all of the summer’s cancellations of professional fireworks shows.
“We really try to tell people to go to professional shows, but it’s harder this year being there’s not really any professional shows going on,” Lt. Walesh said.
Fireworks that leave the ground are illegal in the city of Green Bay.
“Use fireworks that stay on the ground,” Lt. Walesh said, “the sparklers, your snakes, your smoke bombs, even some of the fountain type of fireworks.”
Even when using those legal fire fireworks, Lt. Walesh says it’s important to be smart about where you’re setting up your display — and to never mix fireworks and drugs or alcohol.
She also recommends soaking spent fireworks in water before disposing of them to prevent garbage can and dumpster fires.
At Uncle Sam’s, the owners have four decades of experience in making the Fourth of July fun.
“My husband Chuck and I have owned Uncle Sam’s fireworks for 44 years,” Decker explained.
She told Local 5 that they expect this year to be one of their biggest.
“People are still, and I think this summer especially, still wanting a little bit more freedom,” she said.