Drought conditions and fireworks bans have taken a major toll on fireworks dealers in Marion County, where a personal fireworks ban is in place because of the drought.
But businesses in counties that don't have restrictions said sales are booming, RTV6's Derrik Thomas reported.
Tom Vielee, owner of Holiday Fireworks on Indianapolis' north side, felt like the loneliest man in the city on the Fourth of July. He's been in the seasonal business for 35 years and said he has never had a holiday like this one.
"I'd have four employees, two registers running and 30 people in here buying fireworks (in years past)," Vielee said. "I've been here for two hours. I've seen two people and made $20."
Just 20 miles away in Greenfield, a large sign pointed out that there is no fireworks ban in Hancock County, and business was brisk.
Charlie Knight and his wife said they aren't spending as much as normal, but they will not be denied their own personal fireworks show.
"I usually spend $400 on fireworks," Knight said. "Times are tight. With the conditions and everything, this is going to be a weak show."
A store bustling with customers brought a smile to the face of Ryan Setty, the Hancock County store's director of operations.
"Hancock County is the only one of the neighboring counties around Marion County that does not have that personal use ban, so we are definitely taking advantage of that and hoping the customers see our signage by the road and come in and buy some fireworks," Setty said.
Customer Ron Goodwin said he's buying for the children.
"The kids don't care about dryness or anything like that. They just want to see Fourth of July fireworks," Goodwin said. "We're excited. We're ready. (We'll) be safe and hopefully not start any fires."
Holiday Fireworks put most of its merchandise at 50 percent off. The store will be open for the rest of the week.
Those caught lighting personal fireworks in areas where a ban has been issued could face fines and/or criminal charges.
Indianapolis police asked that calls about fireworks violations be directed to 317-327-3811, not 911.
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