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Fireworks shortage making it hard for local store to keep shelves stocked

Firework Shortage
Firework Shortage

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – As the economy recovers from the pandemic, some supply chains are still struggling to keep up with demand.

The fireworks industry, which relies heavily on shipments from China, is facing a shortage.

While you will still find plenty of firework stands around town, you might end up paying more.

Shopping for fireworks ahead of the Fourth of July is a tradition for the Hamptons.

“The girls are picking out some things like the Princess Frog, the snow cone junior, Roman candles are a great standard, and sparklers of course,” said Kristen Hampton.

Kristen, Rodney, and their daughters have been shooting off fireworks every year since 2017.

“We just like to get out in the yard, cookout and have some fun with the girls, shoot off some fireworks, make some memories,” said Rodney Hampton.

The Navy veterans have some favorites.

“The more moderate artillery shells are ones that we like,” Rodney said. “I think they just put some on the shelves. So, we’re going to see if we can find some.”

But finding everything they want is not easy in 2021because there’s a fireworks shortage. It stretches back to July 4, 2020.

“With public shows being canceled, so many people were using fireworks at home that don’t normally that the consumer fireworks industry really got rushed and ran out of everything,” said Josh Pappas with Superior Fireworks.

“There’s been not enough shipping containers to load product on to, not enough vessel space to get things shipped, not enough capacity in the ports to unload it.”

Pappas said the industry is short between 30 and 40% on inventory and recommends shoppers not wait until the last minute to shop.

“As early as you can get here, that’s going to give you the best chance of getting what you want,” he said.

A lot of products are delayed on arriving at the store. Pappas said the item experiencing the biggest delays are the 200-gram repeaters.

Workers cannot keep them on the shelves, as they typically sell out within one day.

“We have product we’re unloading from containers every day this week that should have been here last week, a week before and we’re just finally getting it on our shelves,” Pappas said.

The uncertainty not stopping people like the Hamptons.

“We will find something, even if we have to come back,” Kristen said.

Pappas said although the store is rebounding because of the shortage, he does not expect the industry to be back to normal for another two to three years.


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Weekend morning reporter and multi-media journalist.