ROANOKE (CBSDFW.COM) – As burn bans went up in more Texas counties, so did the most recent local rainfall totals, on the front doors of Nelson’s Fireworks in Roanoke.
They were also on the registers, the last thing people looked at before pulling out their wallets.
They all showed North Texas in remarkably better shape than the rest of the state.
It was Nelson’s attempt to educate buyers in the face of an increasing number of burn bans.
But managers said those bans, and confusion about them, may have contributed to a sales drop this year of up to 35-percent.
“It’s a constant process of trying to educate the consumer and make sure they understand what the rules are in their area so they can safely shoot their fireworks off,” said Randy Nelson.
Bans are now active in 237 Texas counties, but many don’t include fireworks.
Nelson said high dollar fireworks were still selling well, to experienced buyers. Many buyers who looked for less expensive items were a bit more reluctant to come in this year.
The reports were similar at TNT fireworks on highway 114. Volunteers from the Timber Creek High School Band said sales were down at the stand.
In a good year the stand could make anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 dollars for the band, which could use the money in the face of budget cuts in the Keller ISD that have targeted music and arts programs.
Nelson’s said the situation was not as bad as five years ago, when a drought led to a sales drop of as much as 80-percent.