The Kiwanis are hoping that by buying more fireworks, they will sell more fireworks this year.
Kiwanis members Karmen and Gerold Craft have been buying fireworks for the club for many years and said they’ve seen both the best, and worst, of the business. The first year they started, they didn’t sell a single firework and were shut down due to fire restrictions. But just last year, they sold every single firework they had bought for the stand.
Karmen said that she felt they could have sold more last year, if they would have bought more. So in response, this year she said they are going to do just that, buy more.
“With all of the current affairs going on, people need a little release,” Karmen said.
Gerold said they buy close to $10,000 worth of fireworks every year for both the Fourth of July display, and the firework stand. About $6,500 to $7,000 of that budget, goes to the large variety of fireworks they sell to the community through the stand.
Both Karmen and Gerold aren’t sure what the most popular type of firework has been in years past, but said that if it makes a loud noise, goes high, and has a lot of pretty sparklies, it’s most likely a favorite.
Assortment packs, which bundle a variety of different fireworks together, are popular for the community as well they said. It makes shopping easier. They also bought a variety of kids assortment packs that would help younger children get involved in the festivities. They said that under supervision, none of the kids’ fireworks could cause much harm.
Ultimately, they aren’t necessarily sure what types of fireworks to buy every year from Reichenbach fireworks in Billings, they said.
“We don’t know,” Karmen said.
“We really don’t,” Gerold added.
But Reichenbach fireworks give them a lot of help in choosing the right variety, Karmen said, and anything the club doesn’t sell can be returned to the firework supplier.
Karmen said they try to find novelty fireworks to pair with the normal arrangement to keep each year’s buying experience exciting. For example, they know they need to have waterproof firecrackers for teenagers to throw in puddles but this year, her and Gerold also bought a firework shaped like a toilet named “Shh ... it Happens.”
“I probably should have ordered more of those,” Karmen said.
It’s hard to gauge how many fireworks or what to type of firework to buy every year because it’s hard to know how many people are going to show up or how many fireworks each person is going to buy. Gerold estimated that the number of people who buy fireworks has to be more than 100. And last year, a person who lives south of town bought a little more than $900 worth of fireworks — their biggest sale, said Gerold.
But they want the fireworks to be affordable. Gerold said they try to keep the firework price around an average of $40 dollars with the exception of a few large ones.
After the firework show on top of Capital Hill, the community usually puts on their own show for at least an hour after, according to Karmen.
The Kiwanis firework stand, in the high school parking lot next to the city pool, is the only firework stand near Boulder. The benefit of buying from Boulder, Karmen said, is all money spent on fireworks stays in the community going to the Kiwanis Club. The club sponsors many community events and contributes to others year-round. From giving scholarships to graduating seniors to the community dinner during the Christmas season.
“People come to us with different needs and we try to take care of it the best we can,” Karmen said.
The next closest fireworks stands are in Montana City or Butte.
The stand will be open from July 27 to July 4. In addition to everyone buying fireworks, both Karmen and Gerold appreciate people taking the proper precautions to protect themselves, others and all possessions from the dangers of fireworks.