It’s a sure sign that the Fourth of July holiday is quickly approaching. Bright-colored tents are popping up all across Douglas County, and starting today, those tents will be bustling with fireworks sales.
The sale of fireworks is allowed in Douglas County from July 1 to 4. This year, 21 vendors applied for permits through the Douglas County Zoning and Codes Department. Many of them spent Wednesday readying their tents for what they hoped would be a booming business.
“The last couple of years the economy took a nosedive and any disposable income, especially luxury items, people started spending less on this kind of stuff,” fireworks vendor Rod Karlin said.
Karlin and his relatives have run the family fireworks business from a tent at 31st Street and Kasold Drive for the past 12 years. He said business was looking up this year.
“I hope the economy is recovering, and we’re going to do better this year,” Karlin said. “This is going to be a good weekend for fireworks, given the weather report and Monday being the observed holiday.”
Within eyesight of Karlin’s tent, longtime fireworks vendor Larry Bartz was busy preparing to spend his long Fourth of July weekend working. Bartz and his brother, Gary, have sold fireworks for nearly 20 years, although this year they had to relocate when the land their tent had been located on the southeast corner of 31st and Kasold was annexed by the city. Sale of fireworks is illegal in the city.
Still, the Bartz brothers are preparing for quite a show on Saturday.
“We are going to have a fireworks shoot here on the third, and it’s one of the biggest fireworks shoots around,” Larry Bartz said. “My son is a pyromaniac, and he loves to do it.”
Bartz said the half-hour show is open to the public — he suggests bringing lawn chairs — and it will start at dusk.
Fireworks can be set off in Douglas County from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and Friday, and from 7 a.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday.