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In the Fireworks Tent

Just outside the Springfield city limits, Elden Moore is decorating his "Crazy Dave's" fireworks tent on east Sunshine. Having just finished hanging plastic American flags outside his tent, Moore paused to talk about the fireworks business.

Moore, who says he is retired, has managed the same fireworks stand for 20 years. Before that, he worked at the Red Rocket fireworks warehouse in Strafford. After more than three decades, Moore says selling fireworks is a business he still loves.

Despite the brief selling season, Moore says running a fireworks outlet is a lot of work. It takes six months to prepare for the season, and all sorts inspections and licenses are necessary before his tent can open.

Because the tent is full of explosives, fire safety is the primary concern. Smoking is prohibited within fifteen feet of the tent, fire extinguishers are handy, and Moore pays close attention to the tent's electrical wiring. But severe weather, Moore says, is the biggest threat to a tent full of fireworks. High winds cans also be a problem.

Because of the recent surge in American patriotism, fireworks vendors are expecting a record year in sales. Patriotism is also reflected in the names of fireworks this year. Others are named just for fun.

Eldon Moore keeps his fireworks tent open until July fifth. Then he takes a few days off before a belated holiday celebration in Elkland, Missouri.

After Independence Day celebrations wind down, Moore starts getting ready for the next season-- New Year's Eve, in Louisiana-- where Moore runs another fireworks stand throughout the Christmas season. From Crazy Dave's fireworks stand, I'm Jenny Fillmer for KSMU news.