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Fireworks prices up, supply limited ahead of Fourth of July in SE Wisconsin

Posted at 10:19 PM, Jun 23, 2022

Since the pandemic, backyard fireworks displays have become increasingly popular.

In 2020, and last year, Americans didn't have much of a choice as people couldn't attend larger displays.

Those who had never bought fireworks before were quickly graduating from sparklers and firecrackers to roman candles and mortars, said Anthony Gaspard, who works at Freedom Fireworks.

If you're keen to purchase and craft your own at-home show this year, don't wait.

"Yesterday and today have been pretty solid. Basically, get in, get what you can get. It gets harder as the year goes on," said Gaspard.

Firework shortage in SE Wisconsin

Freedom's prices are up roughly 15 to 20 percent right now amid increased demand, limited supply and higher shipping costs — a lingering effect of the pandemic.

Freedom has 17 locations, both tents and stores, open right now around Southeast Wisconsin.

Owner Dustin Hein said he's been stocking up all year, including buying up surplus fireworks that didn't arrive before the Fourth of July last year amid shipping challenges.

He said they're confident they will have the product they need to get through the holiday. But sparklers, he said, are extremely hard to come by.

"I'm having trouble finding them," he said.

It's the same situation at other local shops.

In Salem, Black Bull fireworks said they were also aggressive in stocking up. But their prices, like Freedom, remain about 15 to 20 percent higher.

Owners Timothy and DeAnna Delimat said shipping costs are almost double due to the pandemic. Still, they anticipate having most of what their customers need, including gender reveal fireworks.

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