Kodiak’s fireworks store reopens ahead of New Year holiday

New Year’s Eve is this weekend and many folks may be planning on including fireworks as part of their celebrations. For anyone looking to start 2023 with a bang, Les and Dan’s firework store opened for the holiday earlier this week. Sarah Thompson has worked at the firework store for about 15 years. She said the Harbor Lights boat parade earlier this month was good for business.

Brian Venua/KMXT

“We’ve had a lot of people like, ‘ we want the big stuff that we saw,’ so that was really good advertisement,” she said.

Eighteen vessels adorned with holiday lights drifted under the Near Island bridge and a few participants lit fireworks as they passed crowds on shore. Thompson has worked at the island’s firework store for about 15 years. She says they have some new items for customers to peruse. 

“We got some new big stuff so that’s exciting,” Thompson said. 

Fireworks are illegal to set off within city limits, but not for the borough. Fireworks can be lit in the borough without a permit between June 15 to July 15 or from December 26 to January 1 unless burn bans are in effect.

Frank Dorner is the fire chief for the city of Kodiak. Dorner said while pyrotechnics can be fun, safety needs to be a top priority. 

“Fireworks are potentially dangerous y’know, children should be supervised, don’t ever hold fireworks while you’re setting them off, staying clear of others setting off fireworks,” he said.

Dorner said it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and the direction of winds as folks light off their small explosions. 

While we think ‘oh it’s wet outside,’ fireworks getting up against the structure and burning can definitely start a house on fire so it’s something that we want to be really conscientious of,” he said.

After the festivities, leftover boxes and other waste can litter an area. Thompson said the local fireworks store gives store credit to folks who bring their trash back to incentivize people to clean up after themselves, 

“Kids or anybody can go clean up the beaches, bring it back, and we’ll give product for how much garbage they can bring off the beaches,” she said.

After their celebrations are over, Thompson said it’s a family tradition to keep Kodiak beaches clean. 

“We do clean up things and we go as a family too, every year and try to pick up as much as we can because it’s important for us not to be flooding our beaches,” she said.

For folks already planning their future festive budgets, large garbage bags go for about $5 – $7 each in store credit. 

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