The night skies in some US cities will remain dark this Independence Day, with staffing and supply chain shortages, drought and wildfire concerns leading to the cancellation of some shows. fireworks show across the country.
For some, this will be the third year in a row that their shows have been postponed.
“The first two years were related to the pandemic, and this year, it has to do with the supply chain,” said Adam Waltz, a spokesman for the City of Phoenix, where the three main fireworks sites are located. was cancelled. According to Mr. Waltz, the supplier that normally supplies fireworks to the city was unable to make any promises about the product.
“It was just a disappointment,” he added.
Other cities have canceled fireworks displays due to concerns about wildfires. In particular, across the West, drought, and this summer’s hot, dry, and windy weather has created conditions for fast-moving flames. As of Friday, there were 55 major wildfires burning in 11 states, including House fire in Nevada County, Calif.has grown to more than 900 acres since it began on Tuesday, according to National Interagency Fire Center.
In Flagstaff, Ariz., about 150 miles north of Phoenix, city officials decided they would rather plan a laser light show than organize a fireworks display they might have to cancel at the last minute, if weather conditions prevented them from conducting the show safely.
“We faced dangerous conditions,” said Sarah Langley, a city spokeswoman. She said the city has yet to make any decisions on whether to continue replacing fireworks with laser light shows in the coming years.
In North Lake Tahoe, Calif., city officials said they decided to replace the annual 4th of July fireworks display with drones, also because of the risk of fire, as well as other environmental risks. (Variety of Chemicals that can cause contamination are necessary to make the fireworks spectacle big, loud and colorful.)
Show at Lake Don Pedroabout 50 miles east of Modesto, California, and ClaremontCalifornia, about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, has also been shut down because of the state’s devastating drought.
In Claremont, this is the third year in a row that the show has been canceled, said Melissa Vollaro, a city spokeswoman. She says it takes about 650,000 gallons of water to wet the fireworks area, which is not possible under current water restrictions. Instead, she said, the city is planning to hold a concert in the park.
Other cities have canceled their shows because of staff shortages.
Cal Expo in Sacramento says it needs to focus its personnel and resources into the upcoming state food fairs and festivals, and therefore unable to host the Independence Day fireworks. In Ocean City, Md., the government said two fireworks shows could not take place because of “lack of labor”. Officials in Minneapolis also said they have to turn off the screen because of construction at a local park, as well as staffing issues.
In many other parts of the country, including New York City, Independence Day celebrations are going as planned. For some, it was their first fireworks display since before the coronavirus pandemic.
Julie L. Heckman, CEO of Fireworks Association of America.
Ms. Heckman said that while some shows have been cancelled, she still expects the number of professional fireworks displays across the country to outstrip 2020 and 2021.
“Demand is at 110% of pre-pandemic levels,” said Ms. Heckman, adding that she expects nearly 17,000 performances across the country in the days surrounding Independence Day. create. (Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, she said, there were about 16,000 performances during this time across the country.)
Some residents in cities with canceled shows are planning to set off their own fireworks. Certain types of consumer fireworks are legal in 49 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, although individual counties and cities can enforce bans, Heckman said. Consumer fireworks are banned in Massachusetts.
Dennis Revell, a spokesman for TNT Fireworks, the largest distributor of consumer fireworks in the country, said that in 2020, when most public events were cancelled, TNT’s sales had increased significantly. both in terms of total revenue and the number of people buying their products. “We’ve withheld a lot of that in 2021,” said Mr. Revell. However, he added, “It’s too early to predict what 2022 will look like.”
However, some smaller retailers are also affected by supply chain issues.
Eyvonne Hall, owner of Fireworks Discount in Brainerd, Minn., about 130 miles northwest of Minneapolis, said she has been waiting for some orders, which previously took about a week to arrive, during the week. more than a month.
She said she called 12 different vendors in search of a particularly beloved fireworks: Pure Fantasy. “They are beautiful and colorful, fountains come in many ways and people love it,” Ms. Hall said. “This year has been slow,” she added. “I just hope maybe in the next few days it will increase.”
In Queen Creek, about 40 miles southeast of Phoenix, where public fireworks displays have ceased, another seller said her business was profitable, in part because of the cancellations.
“They were really disappointed and that’s a pity, but they were really excited to try these new fountains at home,” Christian Valles, who runs the fireworks stand, says of his clients. She added, “they’re going to get a good show.”
Michael Lusiak, a fireworks enthusiast from Green Bay, Wis., about 115 miles north of Milwaukee, said that since 2020 he’s been trying to make his show private, hoping to make it more personal. Get those Independence Day fun people who might not be somewhere. other to go.
Mr. Lusiak, a farmer who hosts the show at his owner’s cornfield, said the best moment was the finale. “I could feel the shockwave in my chest and I knew I was making a statement that everyone would see or hear,” he said.
“All the cheers and blaring whistles,” he added, “it’s one of the best feelings in the world.”
June 30, 2022
An earlier version of this article misrepresented the location of the town of Queen Creek, Ariz. It is located southeast of Phoenix, not southwest.