Fireworks have been flying off the shelves and making record sales this Independence Day season in Council Bluffs.
With the cancellation of firework shows all over southwest Iowa and Nebraska — including the annual show at Lake Manawa State Park — locals are hitting firework stands to create shows of their own, according to fireworks purveyors.
Bellino Fireworks typically begins stocking the shelves on the first legal night available to sell fireworks — but co-manager Alyssandria Niemeier said they decided to open that night. The stand at 2323 W. Broadway sold more fireworks than they thought they would, she said.
“The first time we were open for a full day, we were pretty busy compared to most years,” said Niemeier. “Usually we sit all day and stock fireworks in the morning and then we’re done. Now we have to restock 2-3 times a day to keep up.”
People either want to buy “a lot of little fireworks” or “a lot of big fireworks,” Niemeier said. The Bellino Fireworks stand on Broadway — open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. everyday — is one of many in the area.
Wild Willy’s Fireworks — a brick and mortar store at 2659 W. Broadway — has seen more sales with its bigger fireworks. Purchases at this location support the TeeJay Girls Soccer Team and Jacket Dance Team in Council Bluffs. The teams are among many nonprofits that staff tents across the city, earning a portion of proceeds.
“Our finale styles and artillery shells are just rolling out of here really fast,” said Mark Royer, the head coach for the girls’ soccer team at Thomas Jefferson.
Luke Andersen with the Wild Willy’s tent off Madison Avenue near the Village Inn echoed similar sentiments. He said with shows being canceled this weekend and people wanting to go outside after months of quarantining, folks are buying many more fireworks than years prior.
“When we were training for Wild Willy’s (this year), they said sales in Missouri were already way up, even before the season really started,” Andersen said. “And here, this year, there’s just been such an uptick in sales. People have been cooped up at home and they want something to do that’s outside.”
Wild Willy’s is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. through July 4, and then 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. until July 7.
Outside of Sam’s Club at 3221 Manawa Center Drive, TNT has a fireworks tent for the first time.
Staff member Darian Faulkner said they’ve been selling most of their big fireworks, especially the artillery shells.
For specific locations across the metro you can visit: