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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As communities cancel firework shows across our area, some people are planning their own. There has been a sales boom at fireworks stores.

Firework shows are being canceled across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, but residents say they’re going to create their own celebration.

Independence Day won’t look like years past. So some residents are taking matters into their own hands and plan on having their own shows.

“We got the Sound the Alarm, a couple small things like Haunted House, Purple Rain, a couple rockets,” said Philadelphia resident Corey Johnson.

Where Can You Watch July 4th 2020 Fireworks In The Philly Area?

Credit: CBS3

Johnson stopped by All American Fireworks in Bensalem on Tuesday. He says his family plans on having their own fireworks show in a South Jersey field. The tradition started with his father.

“My little cousins have been asking, ‘Where are the fireworks going to be at?’ So I’m like might as just start now and July 4th is going to be way bigger,” he said.

Johnson says his cart will cost him a few hundred dollars.

All American Fireworks management said sales are up in the fireworks industry. The average shopper spends about $160 before leaving the store.

“Compared to last year, sales this year have tripled, maybe even quadrupled. It’s been like nonstop every day here,” All American Fireworks assistant manager Marielle Lamonica said.

Complaints about booms and explosive sounds from fireworks have soared amid the pandemic and unrest in Philadelphia and across the nation.

Philadelphia officials are asking residents to call 911 if they see people not following specific guidelines.

“I think it’s not just Philly, it’s not just Pennsylvania, it’s everywhere. It’s crazy this year. It’s absolutely crazy,” Lamonica said.

Between May 29 and June 21, Philadelphia police received 947 calls related to fireworks and other explosions.

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America faces fireworks shortage ahead of July 4 holiday

Fireworks may soon be hard to find on shelves in the United States, thanks to sizzling sales fueled by bored Americans emerging from coronavirus lockdowns.

Owners of fireworks companies and industry leaders told CNN stocks are rapidly diminishing after demand for sparklers and firecrackers has more than doubled this year as people sought a way to sonically bust out of quarantine.

“People were coming outdoors for the first time and they wanted something to do,” Phantom Fireworks CEO Bruce Zoldan said. “And the entertainment is consumer fireworks.”

Zoldan, who owns one of the country’s largest fireworks companies, said he was initially debating whether to file bankruptcy since he didn’t think he’d be able to move his merchandise amid the pandemic.

But his 1.2 million square foot distribution center that was packed just four weeks ago is now depleted, Zoldan said.

Another owner of a fireworks company in Indiana said he’s had the busiest season of his 30-plus year career, prompting him to hire additional staff.

“We’ve been working harder, longer hours and probably twice a week for the past two or three weeks,” Robert Tomsich of Lightning Family Fireworks in Gary told the Chicago Tribune Tuesday. “We’ve been scrambling.”

And once stocks are depleted, it’ll be difficult to restock. Imports from China, where more than 90% of the world’s fireworks are manufactured, have plummeted as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered many factories there.

As a result, Chinese exports dropped to near-zero in January — and the United States imported 35% fewer fireworks in the first four months of 2020 compared to the same period a year ago, CNN reports.

“I think by July 5th, there probably will not be very many fireworks available in the United States until China can start producing again and shipping here,” Zoldan said.

Julie Heckman, executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Associations, told CNN there are typically 16,000 July Fourth fireworks shows across the US each year.

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However, with mass cancelations of Independence Day shows — as well as weddings and sporting events — she said “we’re probably looking at about 10% max going forward.”

This sudden drop in demand for professional fireworks sent the demand for bottle rockets, sparklers and other consumer fireworks soaring. Demand for consumer fireworks rose at least 115% percent compared to 2019, CNN reports.

China’s production of fireworks generally increases during the winter months, but that may not be possible this year due to the closed factories.

“It’s a really bizarre situation that we have one segment of the industry that’s going to have a record-breaking year, and the other side of the industry is potentially crippled forever,” Heckman told CNN.

Filed under china ,  fireworks ,  fourth of july ,  manufacturing ,  7/3/20 Share this article: Share this:
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