Lincolnites can start shooting off fireworks today, the first day they are legal within city limits.
While many fireworks stands elsewhere were open for business, workers with 1/2 Price Fireworks were unloading trucks and filling tents in Lincoln Monday afternoon.
Jordon Kavan and his team of employees unloaded about 300 cases near Champions Fun Center, 15th Street and Cornhusker Highway, before they moved to a tent near 66th and O streets.
The stand near Champions was smaller than one owned by the same company in Waverly, but Kavan said the Lincoln locations get plenty of business July 3 and 4.
“It’s jam-packed the whole time,” he said.
At the Waverly location, where fireworks are legal a week before July 4, a giant, green inflatable reptile with a toothy smile greeted a steady stream of visitors.
Manager Bridget Meduna said Sunday was the busiest day so far, but she expected big crowds today and Wednesday.
The Lincoln Bureau of Fire Prevention got started a day early, and held a fireworks demonstration at their practice facility Monday morning.
They blew up a lot of stuff, including a watermelon using an improvised explosive device that would be equivalent of an illegal M-1,000 firework, Fire Inspector Darrell Cox said. That’s about a quarter of a stick of dynamite.
The bureau also shot a mortar round through a half inch-thick piece of drywall, demonstrating the devastation a misfired firework could have on a home.
“It just shot right through it,” Cox said.
Also Monday, a 14-year-old was caught home alone playing with fireworks and gasoline, he said. Fireworks can only be used with a person 18 or older.
Luckily, Cox said, someone called 911.
“A disaster was averted, but that could have been a real tragedy situation,” he said.
Cox recommended following standard safety tips:
* Always keep a source of water nearby, either a garden hose or a large bucket of water.
* Only use legal fireworks. All fireworks with reports are illegal.
* Never shoot or throw fireworks at people or property.
* Don’t use or make homemade fireworks.
Also, Cox said, don’t use fireworks while or after drinking alcohol.
“For the best fireworks show, leave it to the professionals,” he said.
Reach Zach Pluhacek at 473-7395 or firstname.lastname@example.org.