BEATRICE - Last fall, a southeast Nebraska city decided to expand the sales and use period for fireworks around the Fourth of July.  So far, it’s working out well for one of the long-time fireworks stands in the City of Beatrice.

The Knights of Columbus fireworks stand has their tent along North 6th Street next to the Catholic Church, selling reduced-price fireworks and offering lemonade and cookies.  Knights of Columbus Grand Knight, Brock Lohr says the early response has been good.

"I think the people know that the Knights of Columbus have two fireworks and a good variety...and so it doesn't matter if we're open seven days, or four days, they know that they can find that there. We're just thankful that we have enough volunteers to be able to do it. We have 110 people in our council with the Knights of Columbus and we have several others that volunteer from the parish, so it's a big group effort to get it all done. We're just glad we have the ability to do that."

For a long time, fireworks sales and use in Beatrice was limited to July 1st through the 4th. Now…sales can start June 28th….and you can discharge fireworks this year through July 5th.  The Knights of Columbus started their fireworks stand back in 2010.

"I think the total gross sales that year was $7,500...and (this year) we did that on the first day...and we were only open for three-and-a-half hours. Things have changed...things have drastically improved. Our tent has gotten bigger, our location is centrally located. We've got a lot of things going for us that are beneficial for the community."

Money from the sale of fireworks helps out in several ways in the Beatrice area.  "A large percentage of our money goes back to the school and the church...and then we also fund several organizations...such as the Willow Center...Mosaic....a lot of charitable opportunities for us to give back the community, like that."

Lohr says ordering enough items is a bit of a guess, and sometimes a few items can run out early. One of the most popular items?.....the larger artillery displays.
"We have a thing called Moab...a big artillery show. I think we're already sold out and we're only on day two. We may be calling our distributor to see if we can get some more of that. He's like, whatever you've got, is what you're selling! We have a lot of stuff that's in our little warehouse that we, we have enough, I think, to get us through."

The stand is next to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.