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Pyro Pete's

Tim Petersen, owner of Pyro Pete's, and his daughter, Merissa Petersen, put some smaller fireworks in stockings to display in the store. 

FOREST CITY | Looking to welcome in 2019 with a bang? 

If so, Pyro Pete's Fireworks in Forest City has you covered. 

Pyro Pete's, the first licensed pyrotechnics retail venue to open in Iowa after the state made it legal in 2017 to sell and discharge consumer fireworks, opened for this year's Christmas/New Year's season on Dec. 10.  

Sales have been good for December, said owner Tim Petersen, noting not as many people shoot fireworks at New Year's as they do on the Fourth of July. 

"We have a really good following of clients who come," Petersen said. 

Pyro Pete's draws customers from a 100-mile radius. 

Lots of people drive from Mason City to get fireworks from Petersen's shop in December, he said. 

Although several tents are set up in Mason City in June and early July to sell fireworks, those vendors don't return for the Christmas/New Year's season, according to Petersen. 

Even with the new fireworks law, cities are allowed to ban residents from discharging them within municipal limits. 

Forest City has such a ban, but people who live in town still come to Pryo Pete's because they simply go outside the city limits to shoot fireworks, according to Petersen. 

Patrons of Pyro Pete's also like the selection of fireworks available and the service, he said. 

"We take our time with them (customers)," and make sure they get products that match what they want to do, according to Petersen. 

"We have something for every budget," whether it's $20 or $500, he said. 

Customers also appreciate Pyro Pete's is a family-owned business rather than an out-of-state operation, according to Petersen. 

"We are local and it (the money) stays local," he said.  

The biggest sellers at Pyro Pete's are the re-loadable canister shells, according to Petersen. 

Roman candles, firecrackers and bottle rockets are also popular. 

A lot of the customers who came in before Christmas purchased fireworks for gift exchanges and as stocking-stuffers. 

After Christmas is when people start looking for fireworks to shoot to welcome in the new year, according to Petersen.  

Petersen said fireworks cakes are a good option for New Year's.

They are like "a mini-show in a box," he said. "Light one fuse and there's 21 shots in it." 

Tim's daughter, Merissa Petersen, who works with him in the store, said some customers also like to buy fireworks this time of year so they don't have to spend as much money for their Independence Day displays once fireworks sales are allowed again in June. 

"They don't go bad as long as they don't get wet," Tim said.

Tim and Merissa urge everyone using fireworks to follow the rules and be considerate of others. 

Pyro Pete's hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. 

The store will remain open for the season until Jan. 3. 

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