FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — A national fireworks shortage is causing concern just weeks before the Fourth of July.
Kyle Hatcher drops roughly $2,500 every summer for her Fourth of July light show.
“I love to blow up stuff. I like the loud ones, the pretty ones and of ‘em,” Hatcher said.
That's exactly what Inferno Fireworks Manager Deanna Wilson says customers come in for.
“The loud stuff. We do we have the best loud stuff there is,” Wilson said.
They may be harder to come by this year.
“There’s a shortage of sparklers, there’s a shortage on wicks, there is a shortage on shells,” she said.
That’s because the United States is experiencing a nationwide fireworks shortage — supplies are down 30 percent because of supply chain issues.
“It seems like there are just bottlenecks at the ports. Then you gotta get out of the ports and get on the rails,” Pyromaniac Owner Gary Graham said.
Graham says the shortage is not only due to overseas shipping issues. It’s also a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the stimulus money people were cooped up, they didn’t go on spring breaks, so everybody celebrated. That’s why there’s a fireworks shortage around the country. Because of those record sales. Warehouses are empty,” he said.
The shortage isn’t affecting everyone in town the same. Some stores say they started purchasing products for this year July 5 of 2020. They say after the COVID-19 pandemic, they made sure to stock up.
“Phantom’s not having a problem though,” Manager Laurie Beaverson said.
Phantom Fireworks is getting 70 percent of the products they ordered this season.
“We’ll have fireworks. It might not be the specific thing you want, but we will not be out,” Beaverson said.
But with less than two weeks to the big day…
“If you haven’t gotten fireworks, please don’t wait until the last minute,” she said.
At all three stores, managers say business is picking up.
If you want to ensure you get all the specific products you want, they recommend buying now before it’s all gone.