LARAMIE COUNTY, Wyo. — Fireworks sales are soaring along the Colorado-Wyoming state line ahead of Independence Day. Store owners in Laramie County said they’re selling more fireworks this year compared to last year.
Less than 100 miles from Denver, the Cowboy State welcomes drivers to warehouses full of 4th of July explosives.
Much of what shoppers find at the Wyoming stores are illegal in Colorado, but that does not dissuade Coloradans from making the drive north to spend money.
Recently, across the Denver metro, there have been nightly illegal fireworks shows.
“It’s just time to blow COVID-19 to pieces,” said Pete Elliott, who leads the team at Jurassic Fireworks off Interstate 25 near the state line. “This is the year.”
Elliott said 95 percent of his traffic is from Colorado and business has been so good that it’s been tough to keep fireworks on the shelves.
“We’re hoping we have enough fireworks,” he said. “We think everybody is in that same boat.”
Elliott said more people are buying this year to create their own backyard shows after officials announced the cancellation of professional fireworks shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weekdays have been easier to manage at the Wyoming warehouses. Some stores have reported lines out the doors on weekends.
“Before the discount, it would’ve been close to $700,” one shopper said on Tuesday.
Others admitted to splurging heavily on fireworks.
“It was a good amount,” said a woman visiting from Colorado.
“It was the most we’ve ever spent — let’s just say that much,” her husband added.
Denver police and fire officials are concerned about an increased danger this year. They’re holding a press conference Wednesday morning to discuss safety concerns.