Fireworks sales fund Lights On in December

RED, WHITE AND BOOM Florinda Tamez, Emily Stephens and Heather Hickerson volunteered Friday afternoon at the TNT fireworks stand near the Safeway on Tres Pinos Road. They're standing next to the most expensive item, the $500 Big Bang package.

The TNT fireworks stand on near the Safeway on Tres Pinos Road was staffed over the long holiday weekend entirely by employees of the Hollister Downtown Association, along with other volunteers. Like all the other fireworks stands in Hollister, fireworks sales are a vital source of fundraising for the non-profit.

For the past 15 years, fireworks sales have provided essential funds for the annual Lights On Celebration in downtown Hollister. The parade, which kicks off of the Christmas season, brings in between 8,000 and 10,000 people, says Hollister Downtown Association Executive Director Jeana Arnold.

“Fireworks helps us put on the Lights On Celebration, and we may not be able to put in on without it,” Arnold said.

On Friday, June 29, Hollister Councilmember Jim Gillio, a candidate for county supervisor in District 4, volunteered at the TNT stand on Tres Pinos Road.

“All the money raised here goes to revitalizing our downtown,” Gillio said. “I’m happy to be here helping.”

“We start to get busy Friday afternoons because people blow off their first fireworks, and then they’ll have to come back on Saturday and Sunday to get their next round,” volunteer Emily Stephens said. “Our best seller is the stack-ups, which does 12 different things with different colors. Some of them crackle, some do the Piccolo Pete things, some release these lava balls that burble out and creep along the ground.”

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