Men have entered Johnetta Moore's tent, perused her wares, and when dissatisfied, asked her where she stashes "the good stuff."
"We don't have any of what you're calling 'the good stuff,'" she replies.
The best-sellers in her fireworks tent on Farmington Road include tequila sunrise, sparklers, poppers and explosive package deals. They're ground-based and either spin or have a spray with a few sparks, crackles and pops.
"There's nothing dangerous about these," she said of her invintory.
But every year, fireworks send people to hospitals with minor burns and impaired vision or hearing, keeping emergency rooms busy.
Early summer brings kids with burns from sparklers and adults with bleeding eyes or facial damage from bottle rockets to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center's emergency room, said Dr. A.J. Cummings, a St. Francis ER doctor.
He expects the extra people from holiday-related injuries, and compared it to respiratory illness in the winter.
"It's just the nature of the game," he said.
Children's hospitals traditionally see an increase in accidents a few weeks before the holiday, and also the days after, said Kristan Creek, program coordinator for the Advocacy Office at the Children's Hospital of Illinois at St. Francis.
Kids should not use any kind of fireworks without adult supervision, Creek said, but they often find a way, which is problematic. Also, directions should b followed closely.
The Children's Hospital recommends reviewing stop, drop and roll techniques so children are prepared if a spark ignites their clothes.
The most popular thing in the Germantown Hills fireworks tent is a four-pack of toys, called "Striking Distance."
The $4.99 package comes with four flammable toys on wheels -- a tank, boat, jet and helicopter -- and a warning label, like all the other fireworks.
"Caution: moves on ground, emits whistle and sparks. Use only under close adult supervision. Place on ground on a level surface. Do not hold in hand. Light fuse and get away."
Some of the warning labels are silly and obvious, said Brenda Fuller of Trivoli, but they have warning labels for a reason.
People have actually done tings they were warned not to do, Fuller said Friday, while working at the Germantown Hills tent.
Product suppliers are asked to give safety sheets that offer tips to have a safe holiday.
Mary Doerr of Germantown Hills was checking out the tables of fireworks Friday with her 12-year-old son, Austin. This might be Austin's big year to finally light a few fuses -- a job that mom has said "Oh heck no" to in year's past.
It's tradition for her and her family to light fireworks in celebration of Independence Day.
"That's the fun of it," she said.
The kids like it, and, for the most part, it's harmless fun, she added.
"(Remember) common sense things that we kind of forget when we get excited," Creek said. "It's a celebratory season."
Cathy Bayer can be reached at (309) 686-3196 or email@example.com.