Our family has always LOVED fireworks. Every year, we would
invite family and friends to the farm for the Showalter 4th of July
celebration. Steve would go out and buy the two biggest fireworks
assortments he could find, and tell everyone else to bring what they
had to fill in around ours. He would divide the fireworks up between
several containers, and then everyone would start shooting!
Hamburgers....Hot dogs....Mom's potato salad....and FIREWORKS!
In the spring of 1987, someone approached us wanting to rent a small
corner of our alfalfa field to set up a “mom & pop” fireworks stand.
We agreed, not knowing that this was about to change our involvement
in fireworks FOREVER! What we discovered was that other people
loved fireworks ALMOST as much as we did, but they needed a place to
buy & shoot them. Reno County had banned fireworks, and our location
was conveniently just across the county line into McPherson County,
where you can shoot fireworks year 'round on private property. Steve
was excited! He had found a new adventure to work on. We built a 20
x 20 lean-to shed with a dirt floor, and started looking for a
vendor to purchase fireworks from. We placed our first order - -
buying $1,000 worth of fireworks. Using calculators & card tables,
poster board signs and cardboard boxes for bins, the stand opened
June 27, 1988. "What we didn't think about ahead of time was that
when the sun went down, our solar-powered calculators didn't work,"
laughed Steve. "I immediately jumped in the truck and headed for
town to buy a generator and a string of lights!" The first year, we
ordered 30 cases of fireworks and sold them all. The next year we
increased our order to 60 cases, then 91 cases in 1990. "Now we
By the end of our first season, we realized that we needed a way for
more people to be able to shoot their fireworks off in our alfalfa
field. Throughout the next 11 months, we collected up 55 gallon
barrels. Just before fireworks season #2, we arranged 20 barrels in
a semi-circle to make a firing line. This worked great until we had
more people than barrels.
As each additional year came, we kept adding and improving things to
keep up with the demand. We expanded the building twice; tripling
its original size by the mid-1990's. We added a concrete floor,
entrance & exit gates, cash registers & checkout counters, people to
direct traffic, door greeters, stockers, sackers, and of course ~
Around 1995, we met a guy by the name of Jack Clements who owned a
Class B fireworks company. We had approached him about shooting a
display fireworks show for us the night of July 4th, as a
thank you to our loyal customers (and our neighbors who had to
listen to 10 days of explosives). He helped us acquire the proper
licenses, and we shot our first display show. One show led to
another, and eventually Steve & Matt were shooting shows around the
area on an annual basis. We started telling Jack that when and if he
decided to retire, to come talk to us first. It wasn't long, and we
received that phone call.
Since that phone call, business has literally been one explosion
after another. For example, we have many different display firework
shows shooting across Kansas on 4th of July night,
bringing smiles and laughter to thousands of spectators.
A couple of years later, we purchased another fireworks business
(Advanced Imports), which has enabled Rainbow Fireworks to grow
again, with the ability to wholesale Class B fireworks across the
Even though Rainbow Fireworks, Inc. is owned by Steve and Peggy
Showalter, it is very much a family run business. Each of our five
children is involved in the fireworks business in one way or
another. They have fireworks running through their blood! Ask any of
them what their favorite holiday is, and they will respond 4th
of July, without hesitation.
We want to share that same inspiration with you. We would like to
turn your 4th of July into a family or company favorite.
Call us so we can discuss this with you on how your upcoming event
can be made more memorable with the use of fireworks. FIREWORKS
AREN'T JUST FOR THE 4TH OF JULY ANY MORE!
Let Rainbow Fireworks produce your next