Fireworks a family affair
For most Southeast Texans, the Fourth of July means good food, family fun, and fireworks.
To 15-year-old Thomas Burnett, the Fourth of July means work. His family has owned the fireworks stand on the corner of Texas 62 and Farm Road 105, in front of the Carpet Factory Warehouse, since he was a toddler. Thomas and his mom, Michelle, run the family oriented stand. “People stop by all the time and say look at you, Thomas, I’ve been buying fireworks here since you were two and now you’re grown,” says the teenage Burnett with a grin.
Even though this familiar stand remains in the same location, there are several big changes on the fireworks scene, this year. Children under 16 years old are not allowed to buy fireworks. The old favorite pop rockets, with an overall casing of 26 inches, are no longer permissible fireworks in Texas. “We were told that this is due to a number of these rockets that have caught roofs on fire and the extra brave firecracker warriors who have been injured in a pop rocket war.” said Michelle Burnett, with a wink at her son.
The Burnetts are Texas Outlaw Distributors and are excited about many of the new products this year, like Going Bananas, Snowstorm, Eye of the Tiger and Bring It On. A personal favorite is TailGator which fans out a beautiful display of purple and gold a big plus for LSU fans. Their best seller is usually artillery shells. They carry many varieties including some of the classics: chrysanthemum, time rain, rings, peony, and waterfalls.
Everything is conveniently labeled and color coordinated for the novice firecracker enthusiast. Orange represents new products, blue is for shows in the air, white explodes on the ground, and pink represents “on sale.” The stand also carries assortment packages for kids, big kids, and family packs beginning at $12.95. “The family pack is one of my favorites,” says Michelle,” it has snakes, artillery shells and everything in between.”
The Burnetts stand will be open everyday this week from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. with extended hours until midnight on July 3-4. “Hopefully we can avoid the rain on the 4th but believe it or not we even carry fireworks that work in the water,” laughs Michelle.