SIOUX CITY — Two days before the main event, fireworks sales were blowing up for Sioux City vendors.
“It’s been busier than I expected,” said Britton Hacke, manager of the Bellino Fireworks tent in the parking lot of the Gordon Drive Hy-Vee store. “I’m selling out of a lot of my specials and I’m hoping to get a truck in tomorrow sometime.”
Customers steadily trickled in and out of Hacke’s stand Sunday afternoon, which he said has been pretty much the level of business since they started selling the formerly banned low-class explosives.
“I want to have some fun tonight and also on the Fourth,” said Robert King, a Bellino customer.
The Sioux City man welcomed the opportunity to be able to purchase fireworks legally and locally instead of having to travel across state lines as he had done in years past.
“It’s a lot better to shop a lot closer to home,” King said.
Another customer who had a shopping basket full of fireworks was Tim Hatch of Omaha. Hatch was in town to take his nearly 2-year-old daughter, Serenity, to visit her grandmother.
“Just trying to celebrate America’s independence from Great Britain,” he said.
Hatch noted the selection he saw in Iowa was more varied than at the stands he’s visited in Nebraska, so he wanted to take advantage of the options. He even let Serenity pick out a few things for him to light and wants to put on a show for his daughter and other children later.
“This will probably be the first one that she really remembers,” he said. “Last year she was too little and I think she’ll remember a little more this year so it feels good to be able to do these kinds of things for her.”
While things were busy at the Bellino tent on Gordon Drive — one of five Siouxland stands the company is operating — staff at the TNT Fireworks tent in the Sam’s Club parking lot also said business was booming.
“Business has been good; we’ve had good business, good sales,” said Kevin Gunlogson, manager of the TNT stand. “A lot of customer flow in and out of here. I sold out of a few products.”
Although fireworks sales at both stands have been robust so far, Gunlogson thinks once the holiday hits they will ramp up even more.
“I believe they will,” Gunlogson said. “We’ve been running from 10 a.m. to 10 o’clock at night and if the customers are still coming, we’ll keep the curtains open.”