By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Retailers ready for weekend
fireworks 3 jd
Pamela Marchand stocks the shelves Tuesday at a fireworks stand by Ingles on Bethelview Road. Local businesses are planning for big sales over the July Fourth holiday weekend. - photo by Jim Dean (previous profile)
Food, fireworks and fun are the business of the Fourth of July weekend, and the outlook for local merchants is bright.

Barney and Pamela Marchand set up their semiannual fireworks display tent this week in the parking lot of Ingles on Bethelview Road.

“Everything here is real kid-oriented,” he said, adding that sparklers, poppers and small fountains are usually the top sellers.

With the holiday falling on a weekend, several businesses have planned for big sales.

“Because it gives us a four-day weekend, it gives customers an opportunity to have more gatherings,” said Brenda Reid, Publix supermarkets spokeswoman.

For those group get-togethers, Publix has focused on cookouts and picnics this week, promoting traditional July Fourth fare such as watermelon, corn and sweet tea.

Publix has deals on “all the grilling items,” including spare ribs, steak and chicken, she said, adding that the store also features a wide selection of inexpensive wines.

For the Super Target in Cumming, “a lot of the focus is on food,” manager Steve Reid said.

Essentials for a picnic or outdoor gathering are on sale, including ribs, watermelon and disposable dishes and utensils.

Steve Reid thought the many fireworks shows in the area, as well as what amounts to a four-day weekend for many, may increase store traffic and sales.

“It might make people be more likely to plan larger events,” he said.

Target also features patriotic items and decorations in its $1 section at the front of the store, a feature Steve Reid said has been “very popular.”

Old Navy offers $5 American flag T-shirts each year. But this July Fourth, the clothing store will ship one shirt overseas to military personnel for each shirt bought today through Monday, said Derrick Smith, district manager.

The retailer will also hold a donations drive for the soldiers, asking for items such as underwear, chapstick, sandals and undershirts.

Nonprofit partner Operation Care and Comfort will ship the items.

“It really just gets the troops some of these essential products that there’s a need for,” Smith said. “We have high hopes.”

Port Royale marina in northeastern Forsyth County doesn’t need any hope for its holiday stretch.

General manager Brent Danneman said they’ve already booked all of their rental boats for the weekend.

The business’ new restaurant, Pelican Pete’s, has been booming this season and plenty of boats have been brought in for service.

“It looks like it’s going to be nothing short of phenomenal [this weekend],” Danneman said. “I think it’s the heat.”

He also attributed the weekend outlook to Lake Lanier being full, after a couple years of drought had reduced the water level to record lows.

“Fill it up and they will come,” he said.

As for fireworks, Barney Marchand said they use the sales from July Fourth and New Year’s Eve as fundraisers to support local school sports teams.

Before selecting the fireworks each year, Pamela Marchand said they test all the types so they have knowledge of what everything on display will do when lit.

“We can help you set up a fireworks show for your family and friends in your backyard or your driveway, and we do it on any budget,” she said.

Her husband said business is usually busiest on July 3 and 4, but he also suspects they’ll see more families Friday, July 2, when the city of Cumming holds its fireworks show.