Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


July 3, 2011

Local fireworks vendors aspire with ambition


Also pushing their prices around Kokomo are Mr. Fireworks, USA Fireworks, Freebies Fireworks and TNT Fireworks.

Brian Hudson, owner of Mr. Fireworks tucked behind a Marathon gas station on U.S. 31, said he is able to take a calmer, more consistent approach to his business because it operates all year and has been there for about 40 years.

“We’ve got the lion’s share of the market,” he said.

As of last week, sales for the store, which also has locations on Dixon Road and LaFountain Street, had been “fantastic,” he said.

The store tries to keep prices constant throughout the year to compete with the pop-up fireworks stores.

“People get pretty smart when you’re trying to take advantage and run crazy deals for them,” he said.

Sara Pellot, manager at Freebies Fireworks in Southway Plaza on U.S. 31, shunned the methods some of her competitors used.

“I’m just not like that,” she said.

Pellot, like Wampler and Hudson, noted that their companies are family-operated.

All the stores had employees who were quick to greet their customers and find products that they would enjoy. Discussions inevitably led to how to properly light them, with an emphasis on doing so safely.

“Cake products,” which are fireworks that shoot off multiple artillery shells, have become top sellers over the last five years.

Marvin Boswell, manager of USA Fireworks at the corner of U.S. 31 and Markland Avenue, said “cake” fireworks sales burst in 2006, when Indiana eased its regulations on them.

The type of firework remains a top seller, but they have come down as people have resumed buying “the main staples of life,” such as bottle rockets, Roman candles and sparklers.

Sales have remained steady through the recession, vendors said.

“A lot of people were laid off,” Boswell said, “but they were still receiving 95 percent of their pay, and they were looking for some entertainment.”

Wampler, the owner of Best Price Fireworks, said high gas prices have also helped over the last few years.

“A lot of people say, ‘Let’s just go buy some fireworks and shoot them off at the house,’” he said.

• Daniel Human is the Kokomo

Tribune business reporter. He can be reached at 765-454-8570 or at daniel.human@kokomotribune.com.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Honda Tougher Compact Car [Duplicate] Honda bolsters Fit to boost crash resistance DETROIT (AP) — When the subcompact Fit failed a crash test, Honda went back to the drawing board. The tiny Fit, redesigned for the 2015 model year, initially flunked the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small overlap test, earning just a "Mar

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Financial Markets Wall Street-6 [Duplicate] Asian stocks higher after S&P 500 record close HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks inched higher on Friday after a record day on Wall Street powered by upbeat data that adds to evidence the world's biggest economy is gaining strength. Gains were tempered as investors awaited a key meeting of U.S. centr

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • At Jackson Hole, central bankers eye varying goals WASHINGTON (AP) — The central bankers meeting this week at their annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, aren't exactly in sync. Many are taking steps that clash with the policies of others. The Federal Reserve is preparing to reduce its economic

    August 22, 2014

  • Apple Stock [Duplicate] Apple's stock bounces back to hit a new high SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple's stock touched a new high Wednesday, reflecting investors' renewed faith in CEO Tim Cook's ability to outwit the competition and expand the technological hit factory built by the late Steve Jobs. The milestone represents

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eriks MAIN Eriks Chevrolet celebrates after completing tornado recovery When Eriks Chevrolet vice presidents Karen Bellus and Tom Rethlake looked out across the property of their dealership directly after the Nov. 17 tornado, they saw a scene of absolute devastation. Over $1 million in damage was done to the facilities.

    August 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • EPA Weed Killer [Duplicate] Decision could boost use of popular weed killer WASHINGTON (AP) — Faced with tougher and more resistant weeds, corn and soybean farmers are anxiously awaiting government decisions on a new version of a popular herbicide — and on genetically modified seeds to grow crops designed to resist it. Criti

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Posh Salon earns Redken Elite status Posh Salon and Day Spa became just the fifth Indiana salon to achieve Redken Elite Salon status, it was announced this week. As part of the honor, the Posh styling team will travel in November to the Redken Exchange for a three-day, hands-on training

    August 10, 2014

  • Cures for ourills revealed Goober Goodenough is a long-time member of the Indiana General Assembly. You probably know the roadside signs he puts up before every election: “Goober is Goodenough for Indiana.”It has surprised me that Goober has not had a bigger role in the curren

    August 10, 2014

  • Cool summer sets expectations for a record harvest DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A mild summer across much of the nation's heartland has provided optimum growing conditions for the nation's corn and soybean crops. Pair that with high-yield seeds and other new farming technologies, and the U.S. is looking a

    August 8, 2014

  • Report: Indiana consumer rebounds from recession INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new report by the U.S. Commerce Department shows that consumer spending in Indiana has rebounded from the end of the Great Recession faster than the national average. The report released Thursday estimates state-by-state consume

    August 8, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller