The North Bend Eagle


Fireworks stand
Aaron Owen and Hunter Poland help a customer with their fireworks purchase.

Fireworks stand a 10-day sprint

by Nathan Arneal
Published 7/1/20

For most people fireworks mean summer and celebration and Independence Day.

For three local young men, they also mean dollar signs.

Aaron Owen, Hunter Poland and Sam Wesely are putting in a lot of hours during the 10-day stretch its legal to sell firewords in Nebraska.

Sam Wesely, Hunter Poland and Aaron Owen are running the Ka-Boomer’s firework stand in North Bend east of Shawsky’s for the second straight year.

Wesely, 21, grew up around fireworks. He has attended industry conventions with his parents and helped his dad, pyrotechnician Dick Wesley, shoot shows for years, including Old Settlers.

Wesely also worked at the North Bend Bowling Club fund-raising fireworks stand during high school. When that ended two years ago, Wesely took over the stand and recruited two buddies for a mad 10-day rush and a nice supplement to their college funds.

The firework experience comes in handy on the job. Wesely said he is usually able to tell his customers exactly what they are buying and what it will do.

“A lot of times by looking at the packaging I can tell what’s cheaply made, what’s better made,” he said.

The biggest firework package – or “cake” as they are called – they are selling this year is the $150 Mischievous, which features about 200 shots in just under 2 minutes. Two had been sold so far as of Sunday.

“You’re getting your money’s worth out of it,” Wesely said.

Year 2 under the tent is going much better than last year. The trio said they did more sales in the first three days of being open this year than they did in the first week last year.

“Last year was a learning experienced,” Poland said, “but this year we kind of have everything down.”

There were a few moments of panic along the way.


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