Fireworks season in Bakersfield officially commenced Friday afternoon with the completion of final inspections for booths selling to residents looking for the most bang for their buck.
Noting the stands were about as ubiquitous as the Starbucks throughout city limits over the next four days, Bakersfield City Fire Marshal Shane Gardner and a team of inspectors gave the booths their final inspections Friday morning to get sellers ready.
The city doesn’t technically authorize sales to start until noon, but anticipating the visit from Bakersfield City Fire, some started setting up as early as 8:30 am
There were 68 applications for fireworks booths in Bakersfield city limits this year, Gardner said, and 67 were approved, with one applicant deciding to rescind their effort due to a staffing concern.
However, as long as the stand follows the requirements of the law, which include being 100 feet from the nearest structure and 400 feet from the nearest booth, the permit is usually authorized, he said. The maximum number that Bakersfield can have is 76 booths , he added, a figure set by the state fire marshal based on a city’s population.
Part of the reason the county is supportive of the sales is because the profits go right back into the community to support local organizations, said Ally Soper, Kern County spokeswoman.
In the Northwest Promenade on Rosedale Highway, two booths successfully bid for stand locations on opposite sides of the parking lot — one in front of Vallarta supports the Kern County Probation Department’s effort to raise money for, a fundraising run, Baker to Vegas, and another booth stood in support of the Bakersfield Bulldogs, a youth baseball team.
“Every single permitted fireworks booth throughout our county is operated by a local nonprofit, whether it be a high school or some other type of group,” Soper said. “For some of them, this is one of their biggest fundraisers of the year. ”
Shopping with family at a stand just north of the intersection of Coffee Road and Rosedale Highway, Jane Chung, a dance director at Bakersfield Gymnastics and Dance Academy, said she wasn’t usually someone who goes out and buys fireworks at the first chance. But There were two reasons why she was out Friday in the 100-degree heat. One was to support the seller, the Bakersfield Men’s Gymnastics Association, a parent-run booster club that supports the academy; and the other was because there were shortages last year due to supply-chain concerns. Chung and her family wanted to make sure they were able to get what they wanted.
“We always go really late, so we get the leftovers,” Chung said. “We went pretty late last year and we just kind of got what we could.”
Several vendors surveyed at the opening of the market reported no such supply concerns this year, with signs for two fireworks vendors popular locally, TNT and Phantom, planted throughout the city.
“These proceeds benefit local causes, which is why we encourage the public to shop for safe and sane fireworks if they plan to use them in permitted areas of our county,” Soper said. in mountain communities. ”