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Business booming at fireworks stands





GORHAM -- Connor Windholz never has seen fireworks. As a 2-year-old, fireworks have been banned in Russell County his entire life.

The Russell County commissioners voted to lift the Russell County fireworks ban for the first time in two years, and sales officially began to explode Tuesday.

"A couple years ago, we had everything ordered and they told us (fireworks) were a no-go," said Natalie Windholz, Connor's grandmother and co-owner of Discount Fireworks in Gorham. "That was a rough year. We were worried that would happen again."

Natalie, and her husband Ken, were able to order fireworks one week before they opened the stand.

"We didn't want to have the same problem as a couple years ago, so we had to wait to make sure we were able to sell this year," Natalie said. "When you order late, you don't get everything you want."

Despite the two-year ban, Discount Fireworks has been open for more than 20 years.

"I love seeing people come in and be so excited about buying fireworks," Natalie said. "We're really excited for (Connor's) first experience."

Emily Milen, 10, also is excited for one of her inaugural experiences with fireworks.

"It's awesome," she said. "They banned them the last couple years, so it's fun we get to do them this year."

Sarah Windholz, co-owner of Taz Fireworks in Russell, said Milen was waiting for her to open the store.

"She was standing in the middle of the parking lot ready to come in," she said. "It's really nice to have this place back out."

Seth Werner, Hays, was relieved to know he once again could set off fireworks.

"I like blowing stuff up," he said. "I was pretty upset when I wasn't sure if the ban was going to be lifted because (the Fourth of July) is my favorite time of the year. I jumped around a little bit when I heard the ban was lifted."

Fireworks will begin selling in Hays today at 2810 Vine. They can be discharged today through Friday.