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Dixie Lee Fireworks celebrates 60 years

Dixie Lee Fireworks is celebrating 60 years in Dixie Lee Junction.

Deanna Sharp, whose parents, Marvin and Dot Goodman, opened the business when she was 1 year old, has been in the fireworks business her whole life. She now owns Dixie Lee Fireworks with her husband, Gordon, and children, Dottie and Bill.

Dixie Lee Fireworks is open year-round, but the building is only open during peak seasons, from Memorial Day to mid-July and the week before New Year’s Eve.

“We do sell year-round, but we’re not open year-round ... over the years, [customers] have learned to call me ... I’m in the Yellow Pages,” Sharp said.

Sharp said she sells fireworks throughout the year for weddings or birthday parties, but this time of year, her best-selling fireworks are the reloadable type.

“You still sell a lot of firecrackers and bottle rockets, but anymore, the subdivisions and the adults want the things that go up in the air, as close to Boomsday as they can get,” she said.

“Fireworks have gotten bigger and safer,” she added.

Sharp is actually thankful for the Knox County ban on shooting fireworks.

“We tell people, you have to buy and shoot in Loudon County. We think it’s a good law,” Sharp said.

“We have felt like, if they were legal in Knox County, that every Wal-Mart and Kmart and Walgreens would have them, and there’d be a major fire, and the next day there would be a bill to outlaw fireworks in the whole state.

“We support keeping fireworks in the rural areas,” she added.

In fact, Sharp said the County ban is the reason Dixie Lee Fireworks is located at the Junction. Marvin Goodman sold fireworks off Broadway and Kingston Pike when fireworks were legal in Knox County. After the County’s ban, they ended up at Dixie Lee Junction.

“People would [ask Marvin], ‘How in the world did you luck up and get that good spot so close to the County line, right there in West Knoxville?’ And he would very quickly say that luck had nothing to do with it; that was God looking out for the ignorant,” Sharp said.

At that time, Dixie Lee sold souvenir and other general store-type items.

“He was Dixie Lee Gift Shop and Fireworks,” said Sharp, adding that the store sold everything from fireworks to chenille bedspreads.

“When the Interstate went through, that pretty much ended ... but now it’s coming back. We get a lot of people who want to get off the Interstate.

“It’s changed a lot,” she added.

“I just enjoy coming down here and selling my fireworks, and the kids say they do ... and we enjoy seeing everybody.

“Someone will be out here interviewing Bill and Dottie when they celebrate their 100th anniversary, 2048,” Sharp said.

Sharp is offering customers a special gift for the business’s 60th anniversary. For more information, call 865-986-8423.


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