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Fourth of July fireworks sales get underway after lots of prep

By Bryan Richardson

It takes a while for fireworks sellers to get ready. Nick Wiggins said workers spent 16 hours on Monday, from noon to 4 a.m., unloading boxes and setting up under his tent in the Westloop Shopping Center parking lot. He stayed overnight.

“I slept on an air mattress,” he said. “Woke up around 7 a.m.”

Wiggins spent Tuesday morning tagging the fireworks with prices and making last-minute preparations for the first day.

Fireworks sales started at noon Tuesday and will last through Friday. The city’s fireworks ordinance says discharging fireworks is allowed from 8 a.m. to midnight Tuesday through Friday.

Wiggins, a December graduate of Kansas State University, is using the Fourth of July as a fundraising opportunity for his organization, RISE, which stands for Relentlessly Intensely Superseding Expectations.

It is an after-school program for youth development in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Wiggins said the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation helped put the fireworks tent together.

“This is our biggest opportunity so far,” he said. “We’re blessed that Vern (Henricks, foundation president) gave us this opportunity.”

Wiggins said Independence Day is a fun time for everybody.

“You get to meet a lot of interesting people and see how they celebrate,” he said. “Everybody is having a good time at this part of the year.”

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