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Travelers at La Guardia Airport in New York on Saturday.
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The night skies of some American cities will remain dark this Independence Day as many fireworks displays have been canceled across the country due to supply chain and personnel shortages, concerns about drought and wildfires.

For some, it will be the third year in a row that their show has been cancelled.

“The first two years were about the pandemic, and this year it’s about the supply chain,” said Adam Waltz, spokesman for the City of Phoenix, where the three main fireworks were held. It is cancelled. According to Mr. Waltz, the salesman who usually supplies the city with fireworks, he failed to deliver on the product.

“It’s just discouraging,” he added.

Other cities canceled fireworks displays due to concerns about wildfires. Especially in the West, this summer’s drought and hot, dry and windy weather have already helped to set the climate conditions. fast moving flames. On Friday, 55 major wildfires burned in 11 states. Rice fever in Nevada County, California.which has grown over 900 acres since it started on Tuesday National Interagency Fire Center.

In Flagstaff, Arizona, 150 miles north of Phoenix, city officials have decided they’d rather schedule a laser light show than hold fireworks, and may have to cancel at the last minute if weather conditions mean they can’t hold the show safely.

“We are facing dangerous conditions,” said city spokeswoman Sarah Langley. He said he has yet to make a decision on whether the city will continue to replace fireworks with laser light shows in the coming years.

in North Lake Tahoe, California, city ​​officials said Due to fire hazards and other environmental risks, they decided to replace their annual 4th of July fireworks display with drones. (Various need chemicals that can be polluting to make fireworks big, loud and colorful.)

Credit…via Elias Funez/Unity, Associated Press

It is displayed in: Don Pedro LakeAbout 50 miles east of Modesto, California, and ClaremontAbout 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, California, it was also canceled due to the state’s crippling drought.

City spokeswoman Melissa Vollaro said the show in Claremont was canceled for the third time in a row. He said it takes about 650,000 gallons of water to wet the area where the fireworks are being launched, which is impossible under current water restrictions. Instead, she said the city is planning a concert in the park.

Other cities canceled their shows due to staff shortages.

Cal Expo in Sacramento He said he should focus on his staff and resources. at the upcoming state fair and food festival and therefore unable to host the Independence Day fireworks. In Ocean City, Md., officials said Two fireworks could not be held due to a “labor shortage”. Officials in Minneapolis also said they had to turn off the screen due to construction at a local park as well as staffing issues.

Independence Day celebrations continue as planned in many parts of the country, including New York City. For some, they will display fireworks for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.

“Everyone is ready to celebrate independence from this virus,” said Executive Director Julie L. Heckman. American Pyrotechnic Association.

Woman. Heckman said he expects the number of professional fireworks displays across the country to exceed those in 2020 and 2021, while some shows have been cancelled.

“Demand is at 110 percent of pre-pandemic levels,” he said. Heckman added that he expects close to 17,000 demonstrations across the country in the days surrounding Independence Day. (Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, he said there were about 16,000 demonstrations nationwide during this period.)

In cities whose shows have been canceled, some residents plan to light their own fireworks. Some types of consumer fireworks are legal in 49 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, but individual counties and cities may enforce bans, Ms. heckman. Consumer fireworks are banned in Massachusetts.

Credit…Joshua Rashaad McFadden for The New York Times

Dennis Revell, spokesman for TNT Fireworks, the largest distributor of consumer fireworks in the country, said TNT’s sales increased significantly in 2020, both in terms of gross sales and the number of fireworks, when the vast majority of public events were cancelled. people who buy their products. “We retained a lot of these in 2021,” he said. said Revell. However, he added, “it is too early to predict what 2022 will look like.”

However, some smaller retailers have also been affected by supply chain issues.

Eyvonne Hall, owner of Discount Fireworks in Brainerd, Min., about 130 miles northwest of Minneapolis, said she has been waiting for more than a month for some orders that previously took about a week to arrive.

He said he sought out 12 different suppliers looking for a particularly popular firework: Pure Fantasy. “They’re beautiful and colorful and the fountain goes up one floor and people love it,” says Mrs. said Hall. “This year has been slow,” she added. “I just hope he recovers in the next few days.”

About 40 miles southeast of Phoenix, in Queen Creek, where public fireworks displays have been canceled, another vendor said their business has rebounded, thanks in part to the cancellations.

“They’re really disappointed and it’s a shame, but they’re really excited to try these new fountains at home,” said Christian Valles, who runs the fireworks stand. “They’re going to get a good show,” he added.

Michael Lusiak, a fireworks enthusiast from Green Bay, Wis., about 115 miles north of Milwaukee, said that since 2020 he’s been trying to step up his special show in hopes of glamorous Independence Day entertainment that doesn’t have a place. go another.

Best moment, said Mr. The grand finale is Lusiak, a farmer presenting the performances in his employer’s cornfield. “I can feel the shock waves in my chest and I know I’m making a statement that people miles away will see and hear,” he said.

“All the cheers and horns,” he added, “it’s one of the best feelings in the world.”


30 June 2022

A previous version of this article had incorrectly located the town of Queen Creek in Ariz. It’s southeast of Phoenix, not southwest.

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