Fireworks displays have been canceled or rescheduled in many U.S. cities and counties this year due to supply chain issues, labor shortages, and concerns over potential wildfires, meaning a third straight Independence Day with dark skies for some, according to news reports.
Fireworks shows have so far been in canceled in Phoenix and Flagstaff, Arizona; North Lake Tahoe and Imperial Beach, California; College Park and Ocean City, Maryland; Lakewood and Parker, Colorado; and Galveston, Texas; among others.
"The first two years were pandemic-related and this year, it's supply-chain-related," said Adam Waltz, a spokesman for the City of Phoenix, told The New York Times. "It's just disheartening."
In Fairfax City, Va., the fireworks show was moved to July 5 due to a shortage of licensed pyrotechnicians.
"It was rather shocking," Fairfax Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Salgado, whose contracted fireworks company canceled about 25 shows in the region, told The Washington Post. "I've been doing firework shows for 25 years. [This] has never happened."
The American Pyrotechnics Association in April warned of a potential shortage due to supply chain challenges — most fireworks are shipped from China — and a surge in inflation.
"As the industry prepares for unprecedented demand and a post-pandemic full recovery in Independence Day celebrations, will it be able to weather the ongoing supply chain crisis and the economic impact of rising costs and inflation?" Julie, Heckman, the association’s executive director, said in a memo.
Still, Heckman told the Times, the number of professional fireworks displays across the country are expected to exceed those of 2020 and 2021.
Demand, she said, "is at 110% of prepandemic levels ... everybody is ready to celebrate their independence from this virus."
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