Explosions, smoke and the smell of gunpowder will soon fill the air for this year’s Fourth of July celebrations throughout Wilson County.
To prepare for the annual event, tents are already popping up across Wilson County, and officially opened for business last Wednesday until July 5 for residents to fill all their most explosive desires.
Where do all those tents come from, though, and where do the tent operators get their supply? The answer, for some of them at least, is a 40-year-old Wilson County staple, Surefire Fireworks Wholesale and Retail.
The company sits up on a hill at 1946 Murfreesboro Road in Lebanon. According to employee Brendan Martel, the organization is able to sell fireworks year-round because the building is outside the city limits, but obviously, its biggest season is around July 4.
“Really, we start getting busy when the tents start to open in town,” said Martel. “People are seeing the visual in town of, ‘Oh, that’s right fireworks,’ and then some people remember we’re here, and they’ll come to us too, because we’re air conditioned.”
Martel said the local tents are really just an extension of the store itself to offer residents in Wilson County a more convenient way to get fireworks for the big holiday. The company also sells wholesale to privately owned firework businesses, but none locally.
“It’s a little bit of both up here; we do the retail and the wholesale,” said Martel. “We’ve just started doing [wholesale] the past couple of years, and we get people from all over the state who will purchase through us at wholesale prices.”
“There’s not any here in Lebanon, because we try to make people aware when they’re buying from us that we don’t want to compete against them. It’s a business relationship, so most of our people are from outside Wilson County.”
The big fireworks finale on sale this year is a 1,000-gram grand finale from Black Cat. A 500-gram show is actually the largest fireworks show allowed to be sold to non-professionals, but the 1,000-gram finale features two 500-gram displays designed to go off at the same time.
“You have to shoot them at the same time to get the full effect, back and forth, in them,” said Martel. “That’s the biggest thing we’ve got this year, and it’s brand new. We just picked Black Cat up again this year. They have some awesome grand finale stuff.”
The 1,000-gram finale can be picked up for July 4 at Surefire Fireworks Wholesale and Retail or at any of the fireworks tents that are supplied by the business across Wilson County.
By Jacob Smith