College turned into fireworks store

Only in the Region, where the Fourth of July is roughly celebrated from the beginning of May to the end of September, would a college be turned into a fireworks store.

Johnny Rockets transformed the former Kaplan College at 7833 Indianapolis Blvd. in Hammond into a fireworks store in a missed opportunity for Krazy Kaplan's, which just would have had to add a word to the sign. The superstore just off Interstate 80/94 carries a wide selection of fireworks, including aerials, mortars, missiles, rockets, Roman candles, parachutes, tubes, wheels, jumping jacks, poppers, firecrackers and finale racks.

Black Cat Fireworks recently named Johnny Rockets Fireworks & Party Store one of the 10 Best Chicago Fireworks Stores and Stands, along with other Region staples like Krazy Kaplan's, Uncle Sam's Fireworks, Dynamite Fireworks and Good Times Fireworks.

Johnny Rockets, whose business centers around holidays like the Fourth of July, Diwali and New Year's Eve, also runs an e-commerce site where people can order fireworks online and pick them up at the store.

For more information, visit or call 219-923-5410.

Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.