For 53 years the Maune family of Washington have been selling fireworks to area residents to assist them in celebrating the nation’s birthday. Kathy Maune with Show Me Fireworks says they are very happy with sales this year for the Fourth of July. She anticipated sales to be high throughout the holiday weekend.
“The timing of the holiday is always key,” Maune said. “When it’s closer to the weekend like this year, they are always better.”
Although they have had stands all over Franklin County in the past half-century, the single stand this year is located in Dutzow near the Washington Airport.
Maune said so far this year, there hasn’t been any single item that has been the most sought after, but it’s the first item ever the stand sold out of 12 cases of Roman candles, but that may have been due to low supply.
“All of the items are pretty consistent,” Maune explained. “The safety has changed a lot over the years and we have a lot more hoops to jump through. For example, the amount of powder in the firecracker has gone down and we have new sparklers where the spark doesn’t get hot.”
Maune added many people will buy fireworks this time of year to save for special events like weddings at different times.
“People really don’t know what a variety there is,” Maune said. “And a lot of the old favorites are a lot better and safer now. This year we have new fireworks that are pink and blue for baby gender reveal parties.”
Fireworks stands in this area are allowed to operate between June 20 and July 10.
Each year, Maune uses a spreadsheet to determine what they sold the previous year and what to order for the next year.
She added fireworks will last for years as long as they are stored in a dry place away from humidity.
“This year, we will probably start packing up on Sunday,” Maune said. “We’ll store everything and won’t think about it again until about April 1 of next year.”
She added they have seen a rise in fireworks sales in recent years as the economy has taken an upward turn since the 2008 depression.
Maune, 73, and her husband Jerry, 76, began their fireworks journey with a modest stand land owned by her husband’s father where Washington West Elementary now stands.
“Jerry saw a sign one day for wholesale fireworks and came home with a trunkload of them, without even asking me,” Maune said. “They sold well that year and the next year we had eight stands in Franklin County. Then 10 years later we went to a tent and that was even better.”
Both Kathy and Jerry always worked regular jobs as well as their family members who have helped operate the stands for three generations now.
“Fireworks put our kids and grandkids through college,” Maune said. “They’ve always paid for the extras like vacations and furniture, but we’ve all had to work for it too.”
She stressed the success and longevity of the family business has been form repeat customers over the years and they work in their own community.
“We are local people,” Maune said. “ We don’t just come into town and set up for a few weeks and leave.”