HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (WTOC) - Many people in Georgia used to cross the river and buy fireworks in South Carolina.
For the Hayes family, fireworks are a familiar family affair. Justin and Debbie Hayes help manage two of the fireworks stores in Hardeeville. They’ve been at it for decades.
When Georgia changed its fireworks laws in 2018, the mother-son duo worried it would impact their business. But so far, they haven’t seen a change.
“No difference from Savannah. We’re getting more people from Savannah every day,” said Justin Hayes.
The biggest difference in buying fireworks in Georgia versus South Carolina is in Georgia you can always get small fireworks. You can’t always get larger ones that the owners of Crazy Joes compare to Disney.
“People want something bigger,' said Hayes.
Customers travel to the multiple Hardeeville stores that line 95 and 17 for those options.
“Actually have things, you know because you go to some places and they only have limited stuff,” said Ebony Hopkinson.
It seems people are attached to the annual or semi-annual pilgrimage to the very noticeable buildings.
“My Georgia people tell me they’ve been coming here for so many years they know what they’re going to get here and they keep coming back," said Debbie Hayes.
Firework sales regulations are tighter in Georgia. There are also more barriers to entry in starting new stores. Hayes says she thinks that will continue to help the Hardeeville stores for a few more years.
“Right now its expensive, but once they get it going they recoup the costs and then prices’ll go down,” said Debbie Hayes.