Closed Roads in Minn. Affecting Wis. Fireworks Sales

Updated: 06/30/2014 10:10 AM
Created: 06/29/2014 5:55 PM
By: Megan Stewart

Many fireworks aficionados are stocking up on their supply of sparklers, bottle rockets and cone fountains for the Fourth of July on Friday.

Traditionally, many Minnesotans make their way over to Wisconsin to buy them in bulk, but getting across the St. Croix River is tricky this year.

The Stillwater Lift Bridge closed due to high waters.

Marcus Berger, a fireworks sales manager, estimates about 80 percent of his customers cross the border to buy fireworks. The closing has negatively impacted one of his stores, the Fireworks Forever in Somerset, Wisconsin. It's only five miles from Stillwater.

"On a good day from Stillwater to here it takes about 10 minutes, now you're adding on roughly another 20 minutes," Berger said.

The Fireworks Forever store in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, is two miles from Taylor's Falls. With the Highway 8 bridge open for Minnesotans to travel on, they've noticed a lot more traffic.

"The number of sales are up as well as our dollar sales and the number of transactions," said Jason Wachter, vice president of the Fireworks Forever location in St. Croix Falls.

Minnesota has different laws governing fireworks than Wisconsin. In Minnesota, it's illegal to set off anything that goes into the sky or anything that explodes.

In Wisconsin, a permit is required if the device explodes or leaves the ground.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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