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CORTLAND -- They go by the names "One Bad Mother in Law" and "Crazy Exciting on Steroids."

Fireworks, now bigger, more powerful and altogether new, have gone on sale in Cortland.

Joe Vinton, who operates the St. James Knights of Columbus stand in Cortland, said cakes, multiple large fireworks that share a common fuse, remain a strong seller and can compete with professional show quality.

“These cakes are three inch (diameter) which we could never have before,” he said. “A cake shoots flaming balls like your town display stuff. It’s getting really close to that magnitude.”

One new item Vinton is expecting to be a big bang with customers is missiles, which he said are essentially bottle rockets with a rocket-shaped frame rather than a stick.

For the young firework enthusiast, Vinton said fountains, which are similar to cakes but shoot sparks rather than flaming ball, are popular, though stressed the importance of teaching children the meaning behind the Fourth of July while enjoying the show.

“What the Fourth should be about is reminding them of our freedoms in this country and studying why the Fourth was even created,” Vinton said. “I think it starts with the kids. If you get the kids educated as to why we need freedom, it will carry through the generations and we will remain that way.”

Down the street from Vinton’s stand is Kracklin’ Kirk’s Fireworks, operated by Libby Jones and her husband.

Jones also said cakes are very popular, and added one item that draws lots of looks is the Factory 435 Finale, which features 182 different shots for $99.

To celebrate Kracklin’ Kirk’s 20th anniversary, the stand is offering free fireworks, such as Hen Laying Eggs and Blaster Balls with different purchases.

Whether it’s the look on customers faces when they see the massive Factory 435 Finale, or just the excitement over smoke bombs, Jones said seeing customers’ expressions is one of her favorite parts of selling fireworks.

“This is one of our favorite holidays of the year,” she said. “You can see little kids running in all excited, and you can see big kids running in all excited. I just get goosebumps when the Fourth of July comes around. We love the season.”

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Reach Scott Koperski at Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.


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