WICHITA, Kan - Hundreds of people involved in the making and selling of fireworks have been meeting in Wichita during the past week to look at the latest products and talk about regulatory issues.
The National Fireworks Association has been holding its 2018 Consumer Fireworks Expo at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita. People attending the expo have been holding fireworks demonstrations each night at Andover Central Park in Andover.
The Association's board secretary, Steve Houser of Joplin, Missouri, said members from around the world have been attending the expo. Houser said a great number of the people attending the expo are operators of fireworks stands.
Houser said the fireworks industry in the United States is as strong as it has ever been, and the popularity of fireworks has been growing. He said some states that have not been friendly to fireworks in the past, such has Georgia and Iowa, have now opened up to allow fireworks sales.
Houser said the industry is concerned about new rules from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and it's working to get more input and information. He said "what we don't want to do is lose the performance of the fireworks" that people in communities across the U.S. have been able to enjoy. Houser said there have been good discussions and some help from Kansas senator Jerry Moran and other lawmakers in working through the issue.
The expo wraps up Friday evening at 6 with a music concert by Tommy Castro and a fireworks show at 8 p.m. The show will be held at Andover Central Park, with an admission charge of $5.00. Children under 12 will get in free.