Sky-high pyrotechnics overshadowed celebration
Yesterday afternoon John Calen was still hopeful this season's business of fireworks sales would pick up.
"We will see how tonight turns out," Calen said as he helped customers at the corner of Fincher and Homer roads. "I think people are afraid to shoot because of the lack of rain we have had this year."
Calen said business has been a little slow so far this year.
"A lot of people, especially at the beginning of the season were asking if it was okay to shoot, or if there was a burn ban," he said. "It's been challenging because all the bans get confusing."
According to Calen, customers have been coming in later in the evening due to the hot weather during the day. He said the stand has been staying open until 10:30 at night, whereas in the past, the stand might close as early as 8 p.m.
"A lot of our business comes the night of the fourth," he said. "We will know in the morning how well sales went."
However, early yesterday evening before dark the weather changed, bringing strong winds and rain to the area.
According to officials, last night was a-typical due to the weather.
"We did not have a single run pertaining to fireworks," Minden Fire Chief Kip Mourad said. "In the past we have had as many as nine or 10 in one day."
Minden's fire department received eight calls over the weekend for various reasons including a fire on Methodist Camp Road, inside the city limits where someone had been burning and left the fire unattended.
"I believe people were safer this year because of the drought," Mourad said. "I had several people contact me, wanting to know if it was okay to shoot fireworks. Usually though, people do not call."
Mourad said after the rain residents began to pop fire works late into the night.
"I attribute that to people feeling safer after the rain came in," he said. "They didn't have to worry about the risk of accidentally starting a fire."
Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said last night was quiet for law enforcement as well.
In the past, additional officers may have been placed on duty for the holiday.
"Since the change to 12-hour shifts we had six officers out, which is a full shift," Cropper said. "I think it went relatively smooth last night.
"Normally, we get a lot of calls for shots being fired," he continued. "People like to fire weapons instead of fireworks, but I have not had any reports of any incidences last night."
Cropper attributed the calm to the storm.
"I think the storm that came through last night may have had an effect," he said. "People may have avoided the outdoors due to the rain, because it was pretty quiet."