PUHI — Erika Kleinfeld of Pacific Fireworks said people are just waiting to get out of this year as she opened the doors to the shop at the Hokulei Village Shopping Center Saturday, the first day fireworks and firecrackers could be sold in Hawai‘i.
A crowd of people quickly filled the shop, anxious to fill their pyrotechnic needs before supplies run out or time expires on when people are able to get fireworks.
Kaua‘i Fire Department officials remind the public that permits must be obtained from KFD Thursday, Dec. 31, to purchase and ignite firecrackers on New Year’s Eve, from 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1.
Permit applications are available at KFD headquarters in the Pi‘ikoi Building of the Lihu‘e Civic Center, Suite 315, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It’s easy to do,” said Stacie Chiba-Miguel, manager at The Shops at Kukui‘ula. “The doors are closed, but there is a number to call, and the fire people come out with the permits. You pay the cost of the permits at the Division of Motor Vehicles, located in the Kapule Building.”
The cost of a permit is $25, and only people 18 years and older are able to get permits.
“We had big plans for the New Year,” Chiba-Miguel said. “We had the permits. We were going to allow a string of firecrackers for each of the tenants, come together, and light them in succession. But they don’t allow the firecrackers until 9 p.m. We were planning on doing it at 6 p.m., when everyone finishes the day. We are so ready to get out of this year.”
However, because of the permitted time, Chiba-Miguel said The Shops at Kukui‘ula will just go ahead and plan for something on Chinese New Year, Feb. 12, to welcome the Year of the Ox.
Although the following items are classified as fireworks, no permits are required to purchase and ignite them — snakes, sparklers, fountains, cylindrical or cone fountains, whistles, toy smoke devices, wheels and ground spinners, and other similar products.
Some of the new items at Pacific Fireworks that fit this category include the unicorn, the Pikachu that spins, Chinese lanterns and more.
“Puhi action,” said Mogo Gomes, who stacked at least six cases of Waikiki Lights fountains. “This one is the best. It lasts the longest, has a lot of different noises, and different colors. I’m coming back for more later.”
The KFD reminds the public that it is illegal to set off fireworks on public property, including streets, sidewalks or parks. Removing the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any firework is prohibited.
Pacific Fireworks is open daily through Thursday, Dec. 31, from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., although Kleinfeld said if there are people in the shop around 7 p.m. they will stay open to accommodate them.
“And we’ll only be here until we run out,” she said. “There is a firecracker shortage because during the recent incident when containers from China went overboard, 50 of those containers had fireworks,” she said.