Nicolas Guerrero is freshly 8 years old after his birthday earlier this month.
Outside of the presents he received, he also ended up with some birthday money, so when his mother Janie was debating the quality of the fireworks his family might have for New Year’s Eve, he was quick to volunteer as a co-sponsor of the entertainment.“He said ‘I’ll help you,’” Janie remembers.
Shooting fireworks is a family tradition, Janie explained, and Nicolas didn’t want to bring in the new year without some pyrotechnics to mark the occasion.
That’s what led the two to visit Alamo Fireworks on state Highway 48 — a megastore and warehouse on the way to Port Isabel — despite the dreary weather.
In his bag Nicolas had assembled a trove of sparklers, Roman candles, egg-laying hens and high-flying bee firecrackers.
Janie said the family will head to her parents’ house outside of the city to shoot fireworks with her sisters and their children.
The night promises to be a loud one throughout Cameron County, but a Brownsville ordinance explicitly prohibits fireworks within city limits.
That ordinance authorizes any firefighter or police officer to seize fireworks within the city, and fines can run up to $2,000.
Still, sales at the numerous stands on the city’s outskirts are expected to continue through Wednesday, which marks the end of the fireworks season.
Many stores, like Alamo, will sell until midnight on New Year’s Eve in an effort to maximize sales during the short fireworks-selling season.
Ellie Santa Ana, who manages the Brownsville Alamo location, said her store will also be open New Year’s Day, although she’ll probably close up shop at about 6 p.m.
She has stayed busy this holiday season with fireworks, she said, with a handful of new products leading sales.
Small fireworks that erupt into a smiling face in the sky have been great sellers, she said, adding that her customers have come back to marvel at how well they work.
Assortments, especially small ones made just for children, have also been flying off the shelves she said, along with large displays featuring names like Xtreme, Homeland Security and The Shizzle.
When the season concludes Wednesday, she said employees will perform inventory to determine what more is needed ahead of July 4.
Santa Ana, whose son married a woman involved with Alamo, said the gig is perfect for her and her husband, who are both retired.
Between the two two-week seasons — late December and just before July 4 — she said they have 48 other weeks to enjoy themselves.
“We’ll have Christmas next week,” she said Monday with a laugh.