Omaha area's New Year's Eve fireworks sales return Sunday -
Published Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 1:32 am
Omaha area's New Year's Eve fireworks sales return Sunday
Police warn celebratory gunfire is Illegal
The Omaha Police Department and City of Omaha remind people that celebratory gunfire is illegal and can result in tragedy during the holidays.

Celebratory gunfire is a problem because what goes up must come down, and a stray bullet easily could injure or kill someone, police said.

Violators caught discharging a firearm within city limits will be arrested. — Emily Nohr

Hoping to ring in the new year with a pop, crackle and bang?

You're in luck, because celebratory New Year's Eve fireworks sales are returning to the Omaha metro area this weekend.

Employees at fireworks retailers on Friday were busy heaving boxes and stocking shelves in preparation for the three-day sale that starts Sunday and runs through midnight on Dec. 31.

“You'd be surprised the people that come out — the pyros,” said a grinning Eric Clauson, operations manager at Wild Willy's Fireworks in Springfield, where the company this summer built a new 6,000-square-foot heated store along Highway 50.

Most people, however, are still getting used to the relatively new New Year's novelty.

Starting in 2010, the Nebraska Legislature allowed fireworks to be sold and discharged during the New Year's holiday, with local approval from the city.

According to the State Fire Marshal's Office, there are 20 Nebraska fireworks retailers licensed to do business for the New Year's Eve holiday.

That's down from 27 retailers last year, 28 in 2011 and 45 in 2010.

It's also a significantly lower number than the hundreds of vendors set up for business across Nebraska for the Fourth of July.

Still, popular fireworks this time of year are generally larger and louder than the ones blown up in the summer, retailers said.

“These are extremely loud and really light up the sky,” Clauson said as he grabbed a package called High and Mighty Artillery Shells. “It sounds like a bomb goin' off.”

People also are drawn to the kind that allow users to “light one thing at midnight and run back into the house,” he said with a laugh.

Weather plays a major role in how many customers come out, said Vince Bellino of Bellino Fireworks, which sells New Year's fireworks in Papillion.

“If it's sunny,” he said, “we'll do OK.”

While you can't buy New Year's fireworks in Omaha, Wild Willy's and Bellino Fireworks are among the handful of Sarpy County retailers in Gretna, Papillion and Springfield that will be open.

Omahans can discharge fireworks from Dec. 28 through Dec. 30, between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., and as late as 1 a.m. on New Year's Eve into New Year's Day.

Meanwhile, the lone Douglas County fireworks retailer is in Waterloo.

Other southeast Nebraska New Year's fireworks retailers are in Davey, Denton, Raymond and Roca in Lancaster County and Valparaiso in Saunders County.

Those who sell them say the winter season is still worth it.

“People have been calling,” Clauson said, ”and we pack it like we would for the summer.”

Contact the writer: Emily Nohr    |   402-444-1192    |  

Emily covers Papillion, La Vista, Gretna and Springfield, as well as metro-area roads.

New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Nebrasks health officials to advertise jobs via drive-thru
Coral Walker named Omaha police officer of the year
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
Sarah Palin, Mike Lee coming to Nebraska for Ben Sasse rally
Prescription drug drop-off is April 26
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Rather than doing $250K in repairs, owner who lives in lot behind 94-year-old house in Dundee razes it
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
NB 30th Street lane closed
State Patrol, Omaha police conduct vehicle inspections
After all his bluster and bravado in the courtroom, Nikko Jenkins found guilty of 4 murders
Bernie Kanger formally promoted to Omaha fire chief
U.S. House incumbents have deeper pockets than their challengers
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
Ex-Iowan behind landmark free speech case recounts story in Bellevue
Gov. Heineman signs water bill; sponsor calls it 'landmark legislation'
New UNO center strengthens ties between campus, community
Senate candidate Shane Osborn to include anti-tax activist Norquist in telephone town hall
Threat found in Millard West bathroom deemed 'not credible'
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Attorney: Man accused of trying to open plane's door needs psychiatric evaluation
< >
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Jessica Lutton Bedient was killed by a drunken driver at age 26 in 2010. Thursday, the widowed husband and other family members will gather with others at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to dedicate a permanent memorial to Jessica.
Breaking Brad: How much would you pay for a corn dog?
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a new concession item: a $25 corn dog. For that kind of money, it should be stuffed with Bitcoin.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Dr. Welbes Natural Health Clinic
$129 for 2 LipoLaser Sessions with Additional Complimentary Services ($605 value)
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »