LIHUE — While people celebrated Christmas, retailers dealing in fireworks worked so their displays could be ready for sales Friday morning, the first day they were allowed to be sold.
And after working the holiday, sales were rarin’ to go.
Shoppers streamed through the Kukui Grove store, eager to see the new varieties available for this year’s celebrations.
“We came early,” said Chelsea Pacleb of Eleele. “We have the permits in the truck. We’ll be back” before they run out.
Erika Kleinfeld, of Pacific Fireworks at the Kukui Grove Center, surveyed the crowd buying up fireworks Friday for their traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations on Wednesday.
“We have a good variety of items,” Kleinfeld said. “We have both the permit-required firecrackers and a good variety of the non-permit fireworks. One dealer on another island said his set-up was easy since he only could sell six types of firecrackers.”
Kleinfeld has been vending the New Year’s pyrotechnics for 14 years on Kauai.
“People are surprised that I know so much about the island,” she said. “This year, we have some items (booby traps) which people have been asking for as well as some new items like the Poopy Puppies and Chickens.”
Kauai Fire Department officials reminded residents Friday that a permit from the fire department is required to set off fireworks.
New Year’s Eve is also the last day to obtain a permit.
Permit applications are available at the fire department headquarters in the Piikoi Building of the Lihue Civic Center, 4444 Rice Street, Ste. 315. Permit applications are available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Once filled out, the permit may be purchased at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the Kapule Building at the civic center. Cost is $25 and allows the purchase of up to 5,000 non-aerial individual firecracker units.
There is no limit on the number of permits an individual can obtain to purchase firecrackers. Only licensed pyro-technicians with proper permits are authorized to ignite aerial fireworks.
However, applicants must be at least 18 years old to be issued a permit, or to purchase firecrackers and fireworks.
Although classified as fireworks, no permit is required to purchase or ignite snakes, sparklers, fountains, cylindrical or cone fountains, whistles, toy smoke devices, wheels and ground spinners, and other similar products.
“We got our permits, early,” one anonymous shopper at the Pacific Fireworks shouted, buying up fireworks.
They’re allowed to be ignited for only a short time — on private property from 9 p.m., Dec. 31 up to 1 a.m., Jan. 1.
It’s illegal to set off fireworks on public property, including streets, sidewalks and parks. Removing the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any firework is prohibited.
For those who want to watch a public firework show without having to purchase permits, the annual New Year’s Eve celebration at Poipu Beach Park will welcome the new year with an elaborate fireworks display. The free, $35,000 show begins at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Poipu Beach Park, and feature several food truck vendors, a movie and a fireworks show that kicks off at 8:45 p.m.
For those who are setting off their own, the fire department said that fireworks should be set off away from dry grass or flammable materials, with a water hose or fire extinguisher kept nearby in the event of an unexpected fire.
Info: Fire Prevention Bureau at 241-4985.