Ahead of Independence Day, fireworks stores fight product shortage

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INDIANAPOLIS — If you are hoping to shoot off fireworks this coming Independence Day, you may want to head to the store early. Locations are dealing with a fireworks shortage that is leading to higher prices.

“We are looking at probably a 50% reduction in the quantity of fireworks,” detailed Indiana Fireworks Association Executive Director Steve Graves. “There will be plenty of fireworks for people to buy, however there won’t be variety.”

Last year demand was so high that stores were sold out days before July 4, and that is expected to happen again this year. Graves says almost all fireworks in the U.S. come from China. He says the country has been cracking down on the number of manufacturers because of accidents.

Once the product arrives, worker shortages at ports and delivery centers are further delaying fireworks getting to stores. It’s leading to some stores paying double in shipping costs to get products to the US.

“Best advice I can give to people is buy early, no matter where you buy the fireworks, get them early,” added Bill Fortner, vice president of Patriotic Fireworks. “‘Been in the business since 1983, which allowed us to reach out to a lot of wholesalers and our contacts, and get more than maybe some people could. With the shortage it’s hard to give all the great deals we always give. We love giving extra stuff, and people love it. There just isn’t enough product. We want to make sure everyone gets a little something.”

The Indiana Fireworks Association doesn’t expect the shortage to calm before Independence Day, and in fact they believe this could be a re-occurring issue for years to come.

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