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Don’t look up: no fireworks for some cities on US independence holiday

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Major fireworks displays such as the one in Washington (pictured July 4, 2017) will go forward, but smaller ones have been canceled due to a shortage of fireworks./AFP
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Jul 04, 2022 - 05:01 AM

WASHINGTON — Fireworks buffs in some US cities are in for a dud of a July 4 holiday as supply chain disruptions deny them the traditional pyrotechnic shows lighting up the summer sky, industry representatives said Sunday.

Displays have been canceled in cities across the United States, including Phoenix, Arizona; Sacramento, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota and College Park, Maryland.

Steve Houser, president of the National Fireworks Association, said on CNN: “I think a lot of the really big shows, the companies are obviously working very hard to keep those open because they draw such a level of attention. You know, things like Washington, Chicago, New York.”

“A lot of the mid-market sizes… they’re the ones that are suffering, I think, the most.”

Among other things, he said, prices have surged.

Shipping used to cost $9,800 per container, but has spiked to $36,000, Houser said.

Supply chain snarls throughout the pandemic have been exacerbated by strict Covid-19 lockdowns abroad and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, limiting product supply and driving up costs for what is available.

Fireworks are only the latest casualty of this mess.

College Park near Washington DC cited “Covid-19’s continued impact on the supply chain” as the reason for calling off the show, as did Phoenix.

The Cal Expo state fair in Sacramento said it was also facing staffing shortages.

Ocean City, Maryland and Tempe, Arizona have also called off the fireworks on America’s birthday. And many communities in Texas have been banned from setting off fireworks because of wildfire hazards due to recent hot, dry weather.

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