The Hoosierist: The Fate of Fireworks Stores After July 4

Off-season explosives, Indiana roller coasters, and urban coyotes. Ask The Hoosierist.

Q: I notice several Indy fireworks stores stay open all year. Why do they bother unlocking the doors after July 4?
A: Not surprisingly, Independence Day is indeed the fireworks industry’s Black (or rather, red, white, and blue) Friday. According to Julie Heckman, executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, purveyors of backyard fireworks (who rake in about $750 million annually) make almost 90 percent of their cash during the two weeks leading up to July 4. The rest of the year is about as exciting as a pack of soggy sparklers. But that doesn’t mean the stores have nothing to do. As it turns out, complying with federal fireworks regulations and safety training take up plenty of time, and some places decide to just stay open year-round as a result. It’s probably for the best that an industry centered on distributing kilotons of Chinese-made explosives isn’t moving on to other things after a few weeks.
Q: I’ve got coyotes in my neighborhood. What are the rules about getting rid of them?
A: In a very real sense, the rule is that there are no rules. Coyotes are considered a pest, which means they can be hunted pretty much any time of the year, using anything short of land mines. That is, if you’re out in the country and on your own property. If your coyote resides in, say, Westfield (or any other populated area), it gets more complicated. Obviously, you can’t discharge firearms in your cul-de-sac, and setting out snares or leg traps will get you in big trouble if your neighbor’s labradoodle blunders into one. Your best bet is to hire a licensed wildlife-control expert to deal with it. Your other best bet is to tightly lid your trash cans, keep a close eye on your pets while they’re outdoors, and not leave food sitting around. Do this, and the coyotes will likely go away on their own—no guns, traps, or land mines required.
Q: Does Indiana have any world-class roller coasters?
A: The Hoosierist doesn’t do thrill rides anymore, having discovered during a fateful turn on an Indiana State Fair Tilt-A-Whirl that he has become susceptible to motion sickness. However, if you can keep your composure (and your lunch) on such rides, Southern Indiana’s Holiday World offers several first-class options. Two of its older wooden coasters, The Raven and The Legend, are ranked 15th and 16th best in the world, respectively, by the trade group Amusement Today. And its newest “woody,” The Voyage, sits at No. 4. At 1.2 miles long, it’s one of the world’s lengthiest wooden coasters, and its riders experience 24.3 seconds of weight-
lessness—a stat that makes The Hoosierist ill just thinking about it.
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