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Fireworks are for sale in Lodi starting today

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Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 12:01 pm, Wed Jun 29, 2011.

People can start buying fireworks for the first time in the city of Lodi starting today.

Six stands will be spread out through town selling state-approved fireworks until 9 p.m. on the Fourth of July.

Are you planning to buy some fireworks this week? Here's what you need to know:

Q: What is legal?

A: Any state-approved fireworks can be sold in Lodi. They include spinners; handheld items like sparklers, cone fountains, base fountains, box or tube fountains; novelties; and smoke items.

The Home Run, a fountain firework, is expected to be a best-seller this year, said Dennis Revell, president and CEO of Revell Communications. The public relations company is representing TNT Fireworks, a large wholesale distributor.

Q: What is still illegal?

A: Illegal fireworks are essentially anything that shoots into the air. Illegal items include firecrackers, sky rockets, bottle rockets, Roman candles, mortars, cherry bombs and helicopters.

Q: When will the booths be open?

A: Stands will be open from noon to 9 p.m. today, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Wednesday to Monday.

Q: When can I shoot off fireworks?

A: People can start lighting fuses at noon today and continue until 9 p.m. Then, from Wednesday to Monday, fireworks can be shot off from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. After Monday, people will have to put the fireworks away until next year.

Q: How do the stands work?

A: TNT Fireworks will be the distributor for the six nonprofits selected to sell in Lodi. The company will set up the wood stands that are stocked with everything the organizations will need.

TNT will provide more fireworks as needed and market the stands, Revell said. The company will also assist the nonprofits in direct marketing to profit groups.

"Literally, the most key ingredient the nonprofit provides is people to run the stand," Revell said.

Once the sale is over, TNT Fireworks will buy back the remaining stock from the organizations.

Out of the 3,300 California nonprofits that sell fireworks, TNT supplies 2,700 in California, including Galt, Stockton, Tracy and Lathrop, Revell said.

Q: How much money do the nonprofits make?

A: Organizations have two different ways to split the profits with the fireworks company. They can receive 30 percent of the profits, but not have to pay any costs. Revell said this usually happens in cities with high permitting fees or high land costs. The other option is to split the costs 50-50, and the organization pays for some of those costs. He was not sure which option the six nonprofits in Lodi chose.

Q: What nonprofits are selling, and how were they selected?

A: Nonprofits selling fireworks in Lodi are:

  • Lodi/Tokay Rotary Club, a community service club.
  • Share Homes Family Services, an organization providing foster, adoption and counseling services.
  • Pregnancy Resource Center, an organization assisting women who are pregnant.
  • Lodi Mexican-American Lions Club, a community service club.
  • LOEL Center and Gardens, an organization offering free and low-cost services for seniors.
  • Downtown Lodi Business Partnership, an organization promoting Downtown businesses.

The city received 47 applications to sell fireworks, and in May staff placed ping-pong balls into a Bingo hopper to do a random lottery.

Originally the city selected the Lodi Sunrise Rotary, but the group had planned to combine with the Lodi/Tokay Rotary Club to staff one booth. So the city offered the spot to the alternate, which was the DLBP.

Q: Where are the fireworks made?

A: The fireworks the company sells are manufactured primarily in China, Revell said.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@ lodinews.com or read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/ city_buzz.

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