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Competition Lights-Up as Fireworks Stands Corner the Market

This Fourth of July, when it comes to fireworks, sparks will fly, but this time, we’re talking about the fireworks stands themselves, and the fight to win-over the beset street corners.

Well, you know how it goes: it’s all about “location, location, location”.

For American Fireworks stand manager Kadee Willie, this is more of a family tradition, where, for the past three decades, the Willie family has been running local fireworks stands around Pocatello.

“There’s a very intense push for about three or four weeks where, once we get our fireworks shipment in, it’s go, go, go,” Willie said.

She said, while there is competition for the best parking lot location, another struggle arises when businesses close down, and suddenly these fireworks stands are forced to either move after years of being in one location, or re-negotiate that contract.

“We fought hard to keep the Cafe Rio location,” Willie said.

As for the stand on the corner of Alameda and Jefferson, that’s been a hot spot for these fireworks stands for years. However, since Pier 49 Pizza closed, staying in that location has been difficult.

“It’s been a hastle to constantly contact owners asking if we could renew our contract. We probably contacted them about 12 times over this past year.”

Some stand owners pay anywhere between $600 and $3,000 for a prime spot.

Willie added, part of the competitiveness among these stands, is to see who could have the flashiest, loudest display.

However, across the street from Willie’s Ridley’s parking lot location, is another family-owned stand, but this one catches your eye in a different way.

Brandon Cluff is the stand manager of Flowerworks, a tiny trailer, turned into a makeshift fireworks stand.

“It’s literally a hand-crafted, handmade trailer,” Cluff said. “You see big, brand-named everything, but then you see that small, little ‘ma and pa’ shop and you think, ‘I want to go check that one out first.'”

Overall, each stand said the biggest part of beating-out the competition has to do with your basic principal of economics (besides ‘supply and demand’) – having the lowest prices.

The Pocatello Fire Department said there are 12 stands that opened across the city on Wednesday afternoon.

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