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Local residents get ready to welcome the new year

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Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 4:30 am

Local New Year’s fireworks sales are on par with sales of recent years.

Mike Tracy, pastor of New Beginnings Assembly of God in Harker Heights, manned the Fireworks Warehouse on Levy Crossing Road in Nolanville as patrons filed through the doors Monday. Tracy said he and other church members work at various fireworks stands every year to raise funds for the church.

“People tend to wait until the last minute to come out and get fireworks, but it’s gone fairly well so far with a pretty steady flow of people,” he said. “It’s much different than the Fourth of July, though. More people come out and get fireworks then than for New Year’s.”

Tracy said people still gravitate to the novelty fireworks, like sparklers, Roman candles and poppers.

“As far as the big stuff goes, people want the ones that are punchy and make for a big finale — the ones you feel in your chest when they launch,” he said. “Artillery shells are a huge hit, too. The ability to shoot an artillery is pretty exciting.”

Donald Hall, manager of Mr. W Fireworks warehouse on Farm-to-Market 439, just east of Killeen, said sales have been “about normal” for New Year’s, and true

to form, mortars are flying off the shelves. “The most popular things are always the mortars,” Hall said. “The biggest thing that sells are mortars that explode in the air. The new ones are always the popular ones; everybody wants them.”

Hall said some of the new fireworks this year are the cake-style mortar Boomlight, Boomweiser and God’s Wrath.

Hall has been in the fireworks business for decades, starting out by helping his father. He has owned the stand on FM 439 for 12 years.

“We started in a wooden stand, built up to a metal stand and now the building that currently stands,” he said. “Most of our customers are repeat customers. A lot of them will call in and they want the biggest things we’ve got.”

Hall said, like his late father, he makes it a point to greet every customer.

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