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Pearl River County residents buy fireworks for New Year’s Eve celebrations

HOLIDAY SPIRIT: Customers line up to buy fireworks on New Year’s Eve at Keith’s Discount Fireworks store in Picayune. Photo by Dart Spiers

HOLIDAY SPIRIT: Customers line up to buy fireworks on New Year’s Eve at Keith’s Discount Fireworks store in Picayune.
Photo by Dart Spiers

Local fireworks stands around Pearl River County were packed on New Year’s Eve as people of all ages picked out their favorite types of fireworks to celebrate the passing of another year.

Fireworks vendors agree that Dec. 31 is their biggest sales day of the season, and with so many people lighting fireworks, Pearl River County Fire Marshal Albert Lee is urging people to exercise caution.

“Use common sense when setting off fireworks, keep a garden hose handy and make sure children are supervised,” said Lee.

Caution is something the local fireworks stands must practice to keep their stores open. Mississippi regulations mandate strict codes of safety must be maintained in fireworks stands.

Doug Kennedy, owner of Crazy Carl’s Fireworks, noted the two fire extinguishers he had on either end of his tent, and the carefully hung light bulbs that were properly suspended to keep them away from any hazardous materials.

Kennedy said he used electrical tape to keep the bulbs from touching the reinforced extension cord, not because the regulations required it, but because it was safer.

There is no smoking on the premises, and Kennedy said he keeps the area free of any tripping hazards.

Pearl River County and the city of Picayune allow for the use of fireworks every year during the Independence Day and New Year’s Eve holidays.

“We follow the state’s regulations,” said Picayune Fire Marshal Pat Weaver, “People are able to pop and sell fireworks in the city from Dec. 5 to Jan. 2.”

Since state regulations require citizens to stop shooting fireworks on Jan. 3, those who made a big purchase on New Year’s Eve should make sure to pop all the fireworks they bought while they have the opportunity.

Remember to take the advice of the local fire marshals and enjoy this tradition responsibly.