Mr. Fireworks ended career with a bang

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July 29, 2014 10:02 AM

Larry Olynyk's career in the fireworks business has lasted over 25 years. While Olynyk gave up his business of shooting fireworks last Canada Day, he admits that the passion for them still burns. - Christopher W. Brown Photo

It doesn’t take too long to figure out that the passion and the dedication for fireworks, while retiring last year on Canada Day, is still there.

For almost 25 years, Larry Olynyk enjoyed making people look up into the sky and enjoy some fireworks. His stepping away from the business was more about timing.

“We probably did about up to a 100-mile radius of Lloydminster,” said Olynyk. “We did yearly shows in Provost, Bonnyville, to the east to North Battleford, and to the west as far as Vegreville.

“Father Time had a little bit of a talk with me, he said, ‘hey you can’t go all day and go all night anymore,’” said Olynyk.

Olynyk said that if the fireworks business was the only business he was still doing he might of been able to carry on.

“In fact, we would have carried on because we could have worked in the evening and had the morning off. But I had a real job which was Furniture Clinic,” he said.

“So trying to put in my eight hours here at the shop and put in the firework shows in the afternoon and evening, and weekends, I began to run out of gas, and guess what, when the apple gets to ripe, it falls off the tree.”

Looking back, Olynyk said that the decision wasn’t an easy one to come to.

“It was a very hard decision,” he then joked, “I did enjoy being married and I do have to hand it to my wife. She tromped around with me following this stuff for 25 years as well.

“She was more tolerant of my idiosyncrasy. The deal with my wife and I was, I was going to shut it down at the age of 60. When that summer came, my wife never really said that much.”

Olynyk said that the decision to stay on another summer came down to the passion for the fireworks.

“We escaped the bullet of the summer of my 60’s.”

He went on to say that the time dedicated to the craft became a full-time job, and he would find himself at home at his desk planning for the next show.

“I would be working eight or nine hours planning out the next show, and then I would wake up in the morning at the desk still.” That situation became a lot more regular, according to Olynyk.

When asked where his passion came from for fireworks, Olynyk said that he doesn’t think it’s actually passion but more the magic of the fireworks that kept him going so long.

“It’s magic in the air,” he said. “I think the excitement of the fireworks is that they are so pretty, and they last such a short period of time. If you could turn on a switch and make that particular effect last for that couple of moments, I think the excitement and the thrill of fireworks would soon disappear.”

Olynyk said that he has always enjoyed fireworks.

While he has stepped away form the firework shows, he has not stepped away from selling fireworks at Furniture Clinic in Lloydminster.

“We are still selling fireworks here in Lloydminster, at the shop,” he said. “So come on in if you’re looking for a selection of fireworks, you can come in and buy them or call into the store beforehand.”

Olynyk said that about 10-15 years ago he would find customers buying a small amount of fireworks for really special occasions, but now he has noticed more people using fireworks for all special occasions.

“When I first got into the business people would come in and buy about $100 for a major holiday, Canada Day, New Year’s, or Victoria Day, but now it seems that people are willing to pay big bucks for major events in their life, including weddings family gatherings or just a weekend away at the lake,” he said.

Looking back on his career in the fireworks business, Olynyk said that he enjoyed himself and hoped he entertained people with his passion.

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