HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Christmas is over and major retail outlets are tacking up banners for their next big sales. This time around it's fireworks. Vendors may be selling off what may be the last batch of fireworks sold in Hawaii. Sunday morning shoppers at the Kmart in Iwilei were stocking up on sparklers and other fireworks. Many had arrived at daybreak for the sales. Store manager Patricia Kroll opened the doors to awaiting customers. "We opened at 6 AM this morning, there were a lot more customers coming in this morning actually filling up their baskets, so it's definitely going to go a lot faster than last year." she said.
On January 2nd a new law will prohibit the sale, possession and use of most fireworks now available to the general public.
Vendor Larry Lomaz for wholesaler Pacific Fireworks says 95% of his fireworks inventory will become illegal come the new year. He disagrees with the extent of the new law which will prohibit items such as fountains and sparklers. He explained some of the fall-out from the strict ban. "After January second, if you put a sparkler on your birthday cake you'll be breaking the law." he said trying to get his point across.
Seeking alternative products that don't fall under the ban, Lomaz is testing the market with floating lanterns. An open fire is lit beneath the flame-retardent paper lantern and then released into the night sky. Lomaz urges people to follow the strict precautions labeled on the product's packaging. He says the lanterns don't fall under the category of fireworks and expects it will open up more dialogue about Bill 34. Something he hopes to happen in the new year, perhaps a reassessment of the law by the new faces at city hall.
Come new year's eve people will have the choice to go out with one last bang, as is tradition, or perhaps quietly light a floating lantern and begin a new one.