Nationwide firework shortage causes fast sell-outs and high prices

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – This year, fireworks retailers nationwide are experiencing a firework shortage. 

Amy Burge has been in the fireworks industry for over a decade. She works as a co-owner at SkyLite Fireworks, and she said customers will have trouble getting their hands on the explosives this year if they wait until the last minute.

“For a lot of retailers, when their supply runs out they’re going to be out. Warehouses nationwide, unprecedented, completely empty,” said Burge.

Kirk Young is also in the firework business. He owns Dirty Kirk’s Fireworks in Bowling Green, and he says this firework shortage has dropped their inventory by 40 percent. He says he hates driving prices up, but it’s a necessary evil to stay in business. 

“When you have a reduction in inventory, it’s hard to get away from that price increase when you have a limited amount of fireworks to sell. We hope our customers understand this year. We’re hoping this is a one year deal, and it’ll be back to normal next year,” said Young.

Burge and Young both said that the rise in firework sales from 2019 to 2020 doubled due to high demand, worker shortages and trade route issues that arose from the pandemic. Vendors struggled to get their hands on fireworks this year.

“Fireworks coming in from containers are held up at ports, and it’s just a logistical nightmare, sounds like,” Young said.

Their messages to those wanting to celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks were consistent.

“If you’re wanting a firework show this year, get here early, and expect a price increase,” said Young.

Burge said, “People truly should shop early to ensure they get the product they want.”