New Year's Eve brings economic boom for fireworks retailers
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Lighting up the sky on New Years Eve doesn't just make for a bright holiday. It can also make or break the bank for fireworks distributors.
Chester Davis with American Fireworks out of Bastrop knows that weather conditions can put a damper on his bottom line.
"I started selling when I was in Junior High School, so I've been doing it for about 40 years," he said. “We get 24 days a year to make a living."
Making a living in the fireworks industry in Texas has had its ups and downs in recent years, mostly due to dangerously dry weather conditions.
"Probably for the past 10 to 12 years, we've been dealing with on and off again drought situations like we have now," Davis said.
Conditions were so bad in July that authorities put a temporary ban on all fireworks.
But American Fireworks has been able to push through the down times.
They depend on customers like James Denny who load up on fireworks to ring in the New Year.
"You have the next day off, so you got to have something to do. We'll still shoot off fireworks the next day," Denny said.
But while Davis depends heavily on just 24 days to make ends meet for the year, between trips to China to buy fireworks and lobbying, it's a year-round job.
"I do a lot of work at the capitol to keep fireworks alive in Texas and strong and so it's a full-time everyday effort kind of thing," Davis said.
No fireworks of any kind are allowed within the city of Austin.
If you're out in the county where they are legal, rockets and missiles are banned, despite Monday's rainfall.