Supply chain, inflation and staffing cause issues for 4th of July fireworks this year

Prices across the board have risen for fireworks, forcing cities and organizers to adapt.

DELANO, Minn. — As chairman of Delano’s July 4th committee, Alex Roeser plans all year for the state’s oldest and largest Independence Day celebration.

But even Roeser can’t tell you what the fireworks will look like on Monday night.

“Here’s the funniest part for me,” Roeser said. “I also have the chance to see him and to be surprised by him too.”

That’s because Roeser, who served on the committee’s board for 25 years, relies on his stellar fireworks contractor to figure out the logistics. This year, Delano is moving forward with a full 27-minute pyromusical, which could attract up to 15,000 people when it begins in Central Park at 10:30 p.m. Monday.

However, supply chain issues and inflation have presented challenges to fireworks shows across the country. Delano, which does not use municipal tax money for the July 4 celebration, is not immune to such costs.

“We’re still going to be able to do our show for the prices and the things that we booked. But, one of the things is not being able to get some of the things that were more expensive,” Roeser said. “Mutual give-and-takes – we managed to stay on budget.”

According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, the cost of supplies and raw materials “has risen conservatively by about 20%,” while shipping and transportation costs have also skyrocketed.

James Baxter, owner of Minnesota Pyrotechnics, said shows can cost between $10,000 and $30,000. This year, if cities or organizers don’t adjust their budgets, Baxter said some shows could be cut two to three minutes short.

RELATED: Here’s Where to Watch This Year’s 4th of July Fireworks in Minnesota

“For our display companies, there are a lot of challenges getting multi-shot cakes, multi-shot devices,” Baxter said. “The way the regulations have been, and just the supply and demand, the salutes — the big booms at the end of the finals, those white flashes — a lot of them haven’t been available to a lot of companies this year.”

Baxter also said understaffing has plagued many communities. In fact, Minneapolis cited this as one of the reasons the city isn’t moving forward with fireworks this year. St. Paul will also not have fireworks, although it should be noted that none of the towns have held July 4 shows since before the pandemic.

Richfield Red White and Blue Days also announced on Facebook that “with the uncertainty of COVID, rising costs and businesses struggling with employment, the decision has been made to run a smaller event again this year. , full steam ahead for 2023 Richfield Red White and blue days.”

In Delano, meanwhile, the show will continue on Monday night.

“I feel bad for Minneapolis, I feel bad for St. Paul. I encourage those locals to come see us!” Roeser said. “Great place for you to hang out and visit.”

RELATED: Fireworks Aren’t the Only Thing Happening on the Subway This 4th of July Weekend

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