By David A. Farrell, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
The Mayan Day of Doom passed without incident on Dec. 21, and we are still here, so it’s time to break out the fireworks and celebrate the arrival of 2013, and surviving Dec. 21. Citizens are entering the 13th year of the new 21st Century, and no one knows what the future holds, but we celebrate the present.
At Turk’s at Inside Road and Hwy. 43 North, Brenda Wilson and her daughter, Heaven, said they were awaiting the rush on New Years Eve Day.
“Usually, folks wait till the last minute to get their fireworks, and there’s a big rush right on the night before,” she said.
“But we are ready,” she added. “New Year’s Eve would not be the same without popping fireworks.”
Something new this year is the combo packages, which have a wide variety of different types of fireworks, but they can be expensive.
It takes a hundred dollar bill at least, to stock up.
Down the road from Turk’s, Heather Crowe, whose dad owns Keith’s, 3026 Hwy. 43 North, is helping Dustin Brock of Carriere stock up and get ready for Monday night.
“I always purchase my fireworks here,” Brock said. “They are so helpful and have a good variety.”
Public officials in Picayune have had mixed feelings about fireworks in the past, and residents have learned to put up with the loud noise that comes with the fireworks festivities on the Fourth and New Years.
One time the city law stated you could purchase fireworks inside the city, but couldn’t pop them inside the city limits. That seemed incongruous, but one official said then that the city wanted the sales taxes on the sale of the product, and prohibited the popping to avoid complaints from citizens.
But that was later changed, and now you can pop them on certain holidays, the Fourth and New Years.
Officials warned residents, however, that fireworks are extremely dangerous and those popping them should wear protective eye gear and should carefully read the instructions and follow them during the lighting and popping procedures.
Also young children should never be allowed to handle or use fireworks, and they should be posted at a safe distance when viewing the display.
Fireworks have always been around for centuries. Actually, they can be traced back to the 7th Century in China. China today is the largest manufacturer of fireworks, and most fireworks sold in the U.S. come from China. China invented fireworks.
In China popping fireworks is a cultural and even a religious tradition. The Chinese believe that popping fireworks wards off evil spirits and those popping or participating in a fireworks display will have good fortune in the future.
The Chinese became experts in the manufacture and mounting of fireworks, and the work became a respected profession in China, with the fireworks artists being venerated.
In the 1600s, fireworks spread to Europe.
Fireworks, however, are considered so dangerous that they usually always have governmental restrictions attached to their sale and use.
But they are so popular that clubs and hobbyists pursue the fireworks spectaculars and festivities.
The largest fireworks display ever held was held on Nov. 10, 2012, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Kuwait’s constitution. 77,282 projectiles were launched.