With summer’s heat and the College World Series upon us, Independence Day is just around the corner.
Fireworks sales begin next Tuesday across the metropolitan area. Sarpy County offers residents 49 different options to purchase fireworks, with proceeds from most but not all stands going to nonprofit organizations’ community betterment projects.
Bellevue allows 20 stands, Deputy Clerk Sabrina Ohnmacht said. City ordinance requires licenses to be awarded first to groups that have operated stands in the past, and licenses in Bellevue are only awarded to nonprofit groups who use the money for community betterment.
Fireworks can be legally purchased and discharged in Bellevue between 8 a.m. and midnight from June 25 through July 4. However, no discharges or sales are lawful after Independence Day.
Omaha will allow 50 different stands within city limits, more than all of Sarpy County combined.
This year will be the third Omaha has allowed stands, increasing competition for suburban firework dealers that once had a monopoly on firework sales.
Not every group in Sarpy County that applied to operate a stand was given permission to do so. Records from the State Fire Marshals Office shows the Offutt Lightning Select Baseball Association applied for a license, but the City of Bellevue did not grant them one.
Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista and Gretna all have a hard limit on how many stands they allow, and each city issued the maximum number of licenses permitted by city code. The times when fireworks are legal to discharge vary by jurisdiction.