SALINE CO., Ark. (KTHV) - When you picked up your fireworks this year did you take a few seconds to talk to the people checking you out? If you didn't, you might have missed out on a great connection.
If you're driving towards Saline County, you can’t miss the tent on exit 126.
You'll be greeted with a smile and endless options to celebrate the Fourth of July. There’s something for everyone.
The manager, Kim Cruse, has been working at Fireworks City during her summer break for 10 years. The group at Fireworks City are more than just co-workers for this summer holiday, but family year round.
"I teach high school chemistry at Bryant,” Cruse said.
Cruse loves to meet new people from all over central Arkansas.
“We get return customers every year," she admitted. "They remember us, we remember them. We try to be good to them."
It’s been a decade of what she described as "good southern hospitality" that keeps people coming back for more.
It's Kaitlyn Baldwin's second year working at the firework and she said it's fun working alongside Cruse and others.
"I had her in class,” said Kianna Ellithope, who been working alongside Cruse for about five years now.
These women all have a different kind of familial connection outside of the classroom. Both Baldwin and Ellithope had Cruse for Chemistry at Bryant High School.
"A lot of my former students work with me," Cruse said. "It’s always fun getting to know them on a more personal level.”
"I love Ms. Cruse," Baldwin exclaimed. "She asked me to work for her again this year and I was like, 'Oh my gosh yes!' It’s such a fun experience, you get to make peoples day.”
These high school graduates told us the best part about their job is giving away fireworks at no costs.
“We give free things with every purchase, I think that makes us stand out. And we're friendly,” Ellithope added.
One thing is for sure, these graduates are still getting lessons during their summer break, while also looking towards the future.
"I'm going to use my extra money for college tuition. We're kind of saving, but it’s okay” said Baldwin.
Fireworks City has two other locations in the Benton and Bryant area. They’ll be open next year, ready to sell fireworks before Independence Day.
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