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El Paso County firework ban reversal leaves local retailers scrambling

They initially were told they couldn't sell fireworks this year
With El Paso County fireworks ban dropped, local retailers are scrambling to get up and running before July 4
Posted at 5:10 PM, Jun 16, 2021

CIMARRON HILLS — The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office’s decision to reverse its ban on fireworks this week has local fireworks sellers scrambling to get their businesses up and running before the Fourth of July.

Lacie Preisler marks generation number four of her family to do business under a Collins Fireworks tent.

“My great grandfather started this in 1947,” she said.

But on Wednesday, with July 4 fast approaching, there was still no sign of a Collins Fireworks tent at one of their usual locations at Powers and Palmer Park Blvd.

“We’d kind of packed it away for the season,” she said.

Her family made that decision on June 1. That’s the day the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office announced a ban on fireworks across the county this year because of the dry weather. It’s something Preisler is used to dealing with.

“When you’re in this industry, in a state that has droughts and restrictions, you just kind of plan ‘as if’,” Preisler said.

But there is one thing she’s not used to.

“I don’t think we can ever remember a time where we were told that the fire ban was in place and there was absolutely gonna be no fireworks, and then at the very last minute be told, hey we’re actually gonna allow fireworks,” she said.

On Monday, the Sheriff’s Office dropped that fireworks ban, giving people the green light to buy and sell them in the county again.

“It was like ‘sound the alarms!’ Everybody’s phones are going off, all hands on deck,” she said.

They’re scrambling, not only to get those tents up but also to have something to fill them with.

“We are crossing our fingers that we can still get the inventory we had on hold,” she said.

The last-minute change isn’t giving them much time. Instead of their usual six tents across town, Collins Fireworks will only be able to have two this year. However, the fact that it’s even able to happen after all is enough to get the family through the season.

“My grandparents rely on that income for their annual income,” Preisler said. “We’re just ecstatic. We were pretty sure that it wasn’t gonna happen and when we got news… I mean it is like music to our ears.”

She says they plan to have their tents up sometime this weekend.