Flags Sales Down, Fireworks Canceled

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Local flag retailers aren't flying high this Fourth of July as concerns over high gas prices and the troubled economy heighten.

Tony Clayton, who operates Head's Flags near Tampa, says the number of walk-in retail customers at their store has dropped by about half compared with last year.

Shannon Winks, the office manager at All American Flag and Pennant in Pinellas Park, says she's even tried to give people a deal, but says customers, like realtors and car dealerships, just aren't buying the way they used to.

Budget woes are also turning the lights out on fireworks shows across the state. Several cities, including Cocoa Beach, Winter Springs, New Smyrna Beach and Bonita Springs have canceled their annual displays.

Bonita Springs cut their show because of city government budget cuts and a lack of sponsorship. The city is planning a parade instead.

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