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Fireworks Sales Down, Retailers Blame Lagging Economy

This is typically one of the busiest times of the year for fireworks retailers. But some southern Indiana vendors say sales are down this summer.Traditionally, New Years and the 4th of July are a boon for the industry, but rising fuel costs have driven up fireworks prices. Darren McKinley is the manager of Phantom Fireworks in Clarksville. He says a 15% increase in fireworks prices this year shouldn’t be too surprising to consumers.“Fireworks prices have maintained at a steady level as far as price points for many years," says McKinley. "We were due for an increase. I think customers have actually been expecting it.”McKinley says the higher prices have mainly affected the so-called casual fireworks buyers who buy less elaborate pyrotechnics. He says fewer customers are willing to drive to his shop just to buy a few dollars worth of fireworks.Devices such as firecrackers and bottle rockets are legal in Indiana, but are prohibited for home use in Kentucky.