Loretta Burton opened a pack of Crackling Cactus Fountains and placed them between the Killer Bees, the Mini Monsters and the Crazy Eyeballs.
While it might sound like a scene more suited to Halloween, Burton was actually getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July at the Lodi Mexican American Lions Club firework booth on Tuesday.
She was helping a small group of volunteers stock the shelves in preparation for the swarms of people who will come throughout the week to buy a variety of fireworks.
Tuesday marked the first day Lodi residents were legally able to not only buy fireworks, but also light them. Sales will continue every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until Monday, and fireworks can also be set off any of those days from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
While helping set up the Lions booth, Frank Flores said he used to go to Galt to buy fireworks every year.
"It kind of tears you up to go 20 miles to another community to spend your money," he said.
For nonprofits that have felt the effect of the economic downturn, the sales are especially important, said Flores, who is the Lions Club's secretary.
"We know everyone is going to celebrate the Fourth of July, so allowing us to participate and profit off it is a great deal," Flores said.
Six organizations have booths around town to sell about 60 different kinds of fireworks to customers. TNT Fireworks, a large wholesaler, is supplying all of the booths.
The booths can mean big bucks for organizations, but also require at least 15 hours of work a day. Every day, volunteers need to pick up boxes at a safe and locked location and bring them to their booth.
Once there, they must stack all for the products in an eye-catching way, and make sure they also put out signs with the prices. After sales end at 9 p.m., they still have to pack up the product and drive it back to the secured location.
It took the Lions Club about two hours to set up all of their products Tuesday. Loretta and another volunteer worked on arranging the fireworks in order from the most expensive to the least. The fireworks range from 99 cents for a single item to a $500 combo pack with a large variety of items.
Nineteen-year-old Cameron Stafford was the first customer to buy from the Lions Club. It was his first time buying fireworks, and he picked out some smoke bombs, Mini Monsters and Piccolo Petes.
Stafford goes to school in Phoenix but is from Galt, and will go to the annual big show his family and neighbors have at the end of their cul-de-sac on the Fourth of July.
Karin Boger brought her two children, Hannah, 17, and John, 14, to buy fireworks for the first time.
"I remember these from when I was a kid, but my kids have never experienced it. To me, it was always something you do in the summer," she said.
When asked if she ever thought about going to another city to buy the fireworks, she said it is important to set an example for her children to follow the law.
"I know people do, but that's not for me. Now we can do it the right way," she said.
Outside the LOEL Center booth on Lower Sacramento Road, board member Chris Jacobson said the money they are raising will help feed at least 50 seniors lunch every day.
"We've seen a real downturn in people giving the amounts they used to give. If they gave $1,000 for a dinner, maybe now they are only giving $500 or $300. Organizations are feeling the crunch because they are competing against each other," he said.
While holding the hand of her 5-year-old son Joseph, Rita Diaz said she is happy to only have to drive down the street instead of to another city.
Her son picked out some Crazy Eyeballs, and made her come to the booth early because he was afraid they would be sold out.
"I grew up with fireworks. My parents did it with me, and I want to do it with my kids," she said.