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Why your usual Fourth of July fireworks may be canceled — or turned into a laser show

Due to supply chain issues and skyrocketing costs, many cities across the U.S. are canceling Independence Day firework shows

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Fireworks explode over the stadium after Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles FC played at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Saturday, July 3, 2021. LA won 1-0.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

This year’s Independence Day celebrations across the United States are set up to be far from normal, thanks to shortages, inflation and supply chain issues. Many cities are having to reschedule their holiday firework shows — or are canceling them altogether, Business Insider reported.

Rising costs: The American Pyrotechnics Association reports that firework shows will be record-breakingly expensive this year.

  • The cost of supplies and materials for fireworks has risen 20%, along with shipping costs, which have seen a price increase of 50% since 2019.
  • In 2019, it would cost anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000 per shipping container. Now that cost is around $45,000 per container.
  • The association says the rise of fuel costs and labor have put a strain on the industry as well.
  • Domestic shipping costs have doubled since last year, and demand for rental cargo vehicles is at a high.

  • Some rental companies are dealing with a four- to six-month backlog, causing firework shipments to arrive late, the APA states.

Cancellations: Phoenix canceled three major shows this year due to the inability to secure professional-grade fireworks, according to NPR.

  • Minneapolis canceled its show due to staffing shortages, and Fairfax, Virginia, will have a late show, due to shipment delays, Insider says.

Laser shows: Some cities are canceling their firework shows and replacing them with laser shows, due to wildfire concerns.

  • Salt Lake City will be hosting two laser shows in place of firework displays this year, one in Jordan Park on July 2 and a pre-Pioneer Day celebration on July 23 in Liberty Park.
  • Flagstaff, Arizona, will also be hosting an Independence Day light show in place of a firework display, per NPR.