HUDSON, Wis. - Corinne Hoeft is looking for the perfect fireworks for her family. She came to Venture Fireworks in Hudson, just off of I-94, to find it. The selection is massive and Hoeft wants the ones with the biggest bang.
"We're trying to get some fireworks that will go off in the air and have some spark," she said.
She couldn't get any in Minnesota where she lives because aerial fireworks are illegal.
So, like many, she crossed the border to Wisconsin.
Mike Lesker of Champlin did the same thing.
"We just came up here to get something that goes in the air that's a little more exciting for the kids than to just have them on the ground," Lesker said.
Crossing the border to buy is nothing new. In fact, a bill to legalize higher grade fireworks in Minnesota made its way through the legislature so people could buy in the state. However, the bill was eventually shot down by Governor Mark Dayton. Many were disappointed, but not the folks at Venture Fireworks.
"Sales would probably drop dramatically but I don't know to what percentage because people still have a belief that Wisconsin carried better fireworks than Minnesota," Michael Ellstrom, a spokesperson for Venture Fireworks, said.
Nearly 70 percent of the customers who shop at the store are from Minnesota.
Meanwhile, the shops actually set up in the state are rather quiet. Kristine Steenberg, the owner of a fireworks stand in St. Paul said business would have gone up 50 percent if the bill would have passed.
"I wish they would have passed it because I worked in a tent in Wisconsin last year and it was a lot different," she said.
Her tent in St. Paul barely had customers. Those who showed up, like Earl Lavelace, wished he could buy the hard stuff.
"I was actually thinking about going to Wisconsin but I couldn't find a firework stand online," Lovelace said.
Ellstrom said July 3rd will be their busiest day this week. He expects thousands of people to make last minute purchases.
Roughly 90 to 95 percent of those customers will be from Minnesota.
(Copyright 2012 KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)