Chiquiti Fireworks sales boom in absence of organized displays

Tribal stand also introduced a new online pick-up option amid the COVID-19 pandemic

With the current pandemic having doused the fuses for all July 4 firework displays in Kitsap County this year, many folks have been left wondering how to celebrate Independence Day.

Without organized shows to provide the usual vibrant displays of light, many have decided to forge ahead and provide their own fireworks extravaganza. Local tribal stands, such as Chiquiti Fireworks, at the intersection of Highway 305 and Suquamish Way, have seen an uptick in sales this year with the lack of any community fireworks displays.

“Definitely up,” Owner Wa-La-Chud Chiquiti said of fireworks sales this year. “People are coming out early just to buy stuff to play with and then returning to buy more stuff for the Fourth of July. The whole neighborhood will get together and just stockpile to have their own little neighborhood shows.”

Tribal entities have different firework regulations compared to non-tribal stands as they are authorized to sell their own kind of fireworks as long as they are lit on tribal property.

“This is all tribal fireworks, anything you buy off the reservation doesn’t have as much powder,” Chiquiti said. “We get the top brands, you have to pay more for it but it’s what the customers like.”

Chiquiti also said the stand got some new 6-inch canister shells that have been flying off the shelves recently and noted that anything neon or high-definition have been top-sellers. Contrastingly, knowing that more people will be checking out the fireworks stands due to the cancelation of organized displays, his stand would also offer a display of small, novelty fireworks for those who aren’t as accustomed to the big boomers.

“A lot of our customers come from California where everything’s banned so they haven’t seen much of this stuff to begin with,” Chiquiti said. “We basically have to explain what everything does. Those kinds of people who haven’t been able to see these or light these their entire life; they get here and they want to try them.”

Another added feature this year for Chiquiti Fireworks is the option of “Pyro Pickup,” where consumers who are concerned with too much in-person contact can order and pay online before picking up their fireworks at the stand. Visit pyropickup.com for more details.

“We’re actually the only one in the state doing it,” Chiquiti said regarding the Pyro Pickup option. “People can order online and come here, we have it boxed up and ready for them to go. It’s really simple and easy, it’s basically like shopping on Amazon.”

“The whole COVID-19 (pandemic) kind of had my mind going crazy trying to figure out what to do next and (we) came up with that. I was trying to figure out how to keep people coming for fireworks because people might not be able or wanting to get out. It’s picked up the last week but we’ve had it live for about three weeks now.”

With more and more people anticipated to be lighting off their own fireworks, Chiquiti is offering up the stand’s back parking lot for consumers to send up their explosives — as long as they are purchased onsite and under staff supervision.

“Our sign says ‘if you buy them here, you can light them here.’ Last night we had people out here until 1 a.m. in the morning just lighting fireworks and having fun. We used to have a huge place down by the (Suquamish) waterfront where we used to put on the shows for everybody, but now there’s nothing so we give them that option.”

Additionally, Chiquiti advised folks to light off fireworks in open areas, staying clear of any trees or dry areas to avoid potential wildfires.

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