PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — We’ve all seen the pop-up firework tents on the side of the road during the 4th of July season selling all of the fun at-home sparklers and snappers, but have you ever wondered who’s working them?
Off US-19 in Pinellas Park, we found two tents side by side where selling fireworks for a few weeks in the summer is more than just a job.
Nathon Reynolds, his girlfriend and his friend drive down from Michigan every summer to run a tent for Galaxy fireworks.
“Here’s my cot, my comfortable lazy boy recliner, with the coffee pot to go and the microwave and food to supply the necessities. We call it Happy 4th of July y’all!” Reynolds told ABC Action News with a big grin and two thumbs up.
Reynolds builds homes back in Michigan but said selling fireworks in Tampa Bay for 17 days is a vacation for him.
“I have about probably 10,000 kids that come in every year. So we do this for the kids. We do it for them to enjoy the show for our bad set served in the service. We want them to feel appreciated that's kind of been left out,” he explained.
From their tent, you can hear the faint notes of a saxophone. It’s actually Tarpon Springs band members working at the Phantom fireworks tent.
“The Tarpon Springs band actually operates 13 of our 20 tents this year, and it's helping support their road to Macy's because they're traveling to the Macy's Day Parade for this year's 2022 parade,” said Bob Cliff, a Palm Harbor resident and a Tarpon Springs band dad, he’s also the zone manager for Phantom based in Tampa. The company works to employ nonprofits as fundraisers.
“We've got a football team out in Brandon that's running a tent and then we have some other independent operators throughout the market,” Cliff explained.
The music and even flag twirling is a bonus when buying fireworks at these tents.
“We’ve got lots of good stuff here for the boys, we’ve got little bundle right there. Those have the coolest things in the world,” Reynolds told the small boys.
One of them picked up a little backpack stuffed with little poppers and snappers and said, “I love you!”