Kearney Sky will Light Up Earlier for the Fourth


Fireworks will light up the sky earlier than ever before in Kearney. The City Council met May 27th, to decide whether firework sales should start a day sooner.

The decision comes down to Saturday. The old rule would have allowed sales to begin on the 29th, a Sunday, leaving no Saturday for fireworks sales before the Fourth. Supporters say that's a big deal. However, not all are happy with the outcome.

From now on fireworks will be lighting off June 28th through July 4th.

The decision comes after looking at what other cities in the area do. Grand Island and Hastings allow people to buy starting on the 27th of June.

"We were the shortest window in pretty much all those cases and also had the lowest fees in all those cases, so I thought it was something the council could look at and decide does this make since for those in our community," council member Bruce Lear explained.

City Council hadn't looked at firework sales since 2002 when they decided only to have six days to sell. Randy Buschkoetter was on the board then and said he voted for the shorter selling period.

“The weight of the fire department kind of was considerable but I am a pro fireworks kind of guy, although I'll admit it I voted in favor of changing the dates in the recommendation of the fire departments," he shared.

Those in favor of increasing the sales period for fireworks argue that they have become safer. However some at the meeting said fireworks should not be used at all.

"I call it chaos if you live in Kearney at night in that week, especially towards the Fourth; it's like a war zone around here. That's not celebrating Independence Day, that's going crazy with explosions," said Gordon Bennett, who has lived in Kearney for 40 years. He adds that the fireworks may make some dogs go crazy, can hurt people and may cause things to be burnt.

"Anytime you have fireworks you've got the potential for damage and injury and it's important that those who do utilize fireworks to celebrate our Independence Day, do so responsibly," said Lear.

Last year 21 firework permits were issued for stands in Kearney. The permit fee will go up by $50, but not until next year.