BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Well, you don’t have to run out of town to find a bang for Fourth of July celebrations this year.
For the first time in many years, Fort Madison will have a fireworks vendor within city limits as Bellino Fireworks will have a tent on the Fareway Grocery property beginning this weekend through the July 4th.
Tammy Duckstein is the operator for the retail outlet and said she hopes to have sales starting before the weekend and will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
“This is the first time Bellino has been here because the Fareway location is new to Fort Madison. This is the first year I’ve operated a tent, too. I also have one in West Burlington right across from Wal-Mart in Dollar General.”
Crews were on hand getting the sides of the tent down around the interior fencing Wednesday afternoon as stormy skies descended on the town. The tent was still empty of fireworks, but signs were up and bunting was ready to be wrapped around the tables.
Duckstein is hoping for brisk sales in her first year with the company.
“I’m hoping this will be as big of a year as last year from what they’ve told us,” she said. “The name is out there, so we’re hoping for a very good year. We’re local. They can walk here. We’re right by the store and we take cash or credit cards on site.”
Duckstein said due to the long hours she is still looking for some hourly help. She said the outlet will have specials on a daily basis including several buy 1 get 3 free tables. She said those items regularly sell quickly, but Bellino tracks sales inventory on an ongoing basis so supplies are replenished automatically.
“We’ll have plenty of fireworks on hand throughout the two weeks of operation,” she said. “The most important thing is that no one gets hurt and everyone has a safe holiday.”
She said there are also Bellino tents at the Harley Davidson dealership and the old Hy-Vee location in Burlington. More information can be found at the Bellino Fireworks website at www.bellinofireworks.com.
According to state and county codes, fireworks cannot be sold past July 8. Temporary or tent structures could begin selling on June 13. Tents and temporary structure sales began June 13, with permanent structures able to sell in the state starting June 1. All sales end July 8
Both state and county codes dictate that fireworks can be used on private property from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 1 through July 8 and again from Dec. 10 through Jan. 3.
According to Lee County code 5-9-9:
(a)A person may use or explode Consumer Fireworks during the dates of June 1 through July 8 and December 10 through January 3 of each year, all dates inclusive, so long as the use of Consumer Fireworks is not prohibited pursuant to Section 5-9-3(c).
(b) A person shall not use or explode Consumer Fireworks at times other than between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., except that on the following dates Consumer Fireworks shall not be used at times other than between the hours specified:
(1) Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on July 4 and the Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following July 4.
(2) Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. on December 31 and 12:30 a.m. on the immediately following day.
(3) Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on the Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following December 31.