It all started when brothers Justin & Luke Bartlett were elementary school-aged children and their family moved from their native Iowa to South Dakota for two years while their dad was in seminary. During their first summer living in the tiny town of Valley Springs, the boys discovered the fun of buying and lighting their own fireworks (South Dakota had no minimum age), and the 4th of July became a lot more fun than it had been in Iowa.
After two summers, the family moved back to Iowa, which had banned consumer fireworks since 1938, and Independence Day became something of a second-tier holiday again.
Fast forward to 2017, and those brothers were full-grown adults when they caught wind that Iowa was moving toward legalizing consumer fireworks for the first time in over 80 years. Justin remembered a half-joking suggestion Luke had made several years prior about opening a fireworks store if Iowa ever legalized them and decided to investigate. After learning everything he could in just a few days, he called his brother and his friends John Block and Matt Reisetter – both also Cedar Falls natives – and asked if they wanted to start a fireworks store. All three said yes, and the race was on to get open that first year.
After briefly considering opening a tent, it became apparent that a brick & mortar store was more appropriate for their operation, and after an intense search, the first Crossroads Fireworks opened in the former Family Christian Store in front of Crossroads Mall in Waterloo.
That first summer was a success, so the partners set out to replicate that first store in the best location they could find; the following summer Crossroads opened their second (and largest) store in Bettendorf.
Then in late 2019, the owners of Sundown Fireworks at the Little Amana exit on Interstate 80 decided to pursue other opportunities and offered to sell their store to Crossroads. A deal was made, and Crossroads Fireworks Little Amana prepared to open for the summer of 2020.
Like all Iowa fireworks retailers, Crossroads Fireworks is seasonal by state law. All stores operate June 1 through July 8 in the summer. The Waterloo and Bettendorf stores operate December 10 to January 3 in the winter; Little Amana winter dates are yet to be determined.
Crossroads Fireworks carries the largest fireworks selection in the state of Iowa, with top brands and the highest-quality items covering every type of legal consumer firework. Iowa laws now permit the sale of all consumer fireworks allowed by federal law, so anything that can be legally purchased in well-known legal fireworks states like Missouri can now be purchased in Iowa. Crossroads carries everything from firecrackers and bottle rockets to reloadable artillery and 500-gram “cakes” (aerial repeaters). Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to greet you on your visit to any of our locations.