POSTED: 01:02 p.m. HST, Dec 31, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 05:57 p.m. HST, Dec 31, 2013
Anyone with an unused firecracker permit has until 2 p.m. to get to the Kalihi location of Aloha Vapor Co. or be out $25.
Fireworks vendor Archie Ahuna is the only retailer left with firecrackers for sale on New Year's Eve after an unanticipated surge of firecracker permits were issued by the city this season, catching sellers off-guard.
Jared Que, who works for Ahuna, said he and other workers needed to close up firecracker sales at 2 p.m. sharp because they will setting up the fireworks celebration at Kakaako Park that is expected to draw thousands tonight.
Que said it doesn't matter if people will still be in line for firecrackers because the Kakaako event is a higher priority for the company. He encouraged those who are left without firecrackers to attend the event instead.
The operation had been working out of a tent in front of Farrington High School, but was forced to close by state officials this morning. They received permission to relocate to the parking lot in front of the e-cigarette shop, which is in a strip mall behind the Kalihi Diner's Drive-In, a block away.
A steady stream of folks stood in line for up to half an hour late this morning.
Among them was Clifford Cooper, who drove to town from Waianae to make sure his four permits went to good use after he struck out at several retailers over the weekend. "I didn't think it was going to run out so fast."
Pauoa resident Lisa Kim, who also used four permits to buy four bundles of firecrackers, said the city should change its fireworks law so that a person with a permit can use it beyond the specified time so $25 isn't wasted. City officials say no refunds are allowed under the ordinance allowing the permits.
Kim also said the city should rethink the idea of allowing only firecrackers on New Year's, and should at least allow for the use of sparklers.
"For the kids," she said.
Firecrackers can be set off from 9 p.m. tonight until 1 a.m. tomorrow.