RAPID CITY, S.D. — We are less than one week away now from celebrating the nation’s 245th birthday.
Communities around the Black Hills are getting ready stage their fireworks extravaganzas.
But if you plan to have your own celebration – don’t wait to get your fireworks. There is a shortage of fireworks around the nation – and the Black Hills are no different.
“We had such a good year last year, it dwindled the supply here in the us from warehouses,” said Douglas Bellinger, owner of Extreme Fireworks.
With that shortage, local fireworks companies are now ordering from China – where orders are backlogged – and shipping prices have been increased from $11,000 dollars last year to over $23,000 this year.
The cause of the shortage is no secret – stores are packed with customers trying to get their hands on their favorite firework sets.
“It was crazy, I mean we had lines all the way around the building,” said Tom Skoog, owner of Big Fireworks.
Overall, stores are encouraging people to get in and shop early.
“They’ve already been looking for items they like and we’re out already, and some are just coming in and making sure that they’re getting the stuff that they want for their celebration, because they realize there’s a shortage, what’s happening. And I think they’re just being more cautious and getting out early, which is good. As you will see, if you walk around, we already have quite a few bare spots that we usually wouldn’t have this early in this season. This is day one that we’re actually open to everyone and we’re running out of stuff,” Bellinger said.
“A lot of the little stuff is hard to come by, but we stocked up pretty good. The people that are here today they are happy, they all got what they came to look for. People that show up later in the week, I don’t know what’s gonna be left. But got a bunch still in the back, and we’ll keep bringing out as long as they keep coming,” Skoog said.
And while fireworks are lots of fun – safety is key.
“Alcohol and fireworks do not mix too good. So, just make sure you have a real good sane person out there lighting your show for you,” Bellinger said.
“I check the SD Grassland Fire Index everyday; and it’s nice to see when it’s all green like it’s been, a little bit of blue so it’s low and moderate,” Skoog said.