April 17, 2024

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4th of July live updates: hot dog eating contest and travel news

Travelers at La Guardia Airport in New York on Saturday.

The skies of some American cities will remain dark this Independence Day today, with supply chain and staff shortages, drought and concerns about wildfires leading to the cancellation of many fireworks displays across the country.

For some, this will be the third year in a row that their shows have been cancelled.

The city of Phoenix, where the three main fireworks display, said Adam Waltz, a spokesman for the city of Phoenix Canceled. According to Mr. Waltz, the seller who usually supplied the city with fireworks could not promise the product.

“It’s just frustrating,” he added.

Other cities have canceled their fireworks displays due to fears of wildfires. Across the West in particular, drought and this summer’s hot, dry, windy weather have already helped create conditions Fast moving fires. As of Friday, there were 55 major wildfires burning in 11 states, including Cedar fire in Nevada County, California.Which has grown to more than 900 acres since its inception on Tuesday, according to the newspaper National Interagency Fire Center.

In Flagstaff, Arizona, about 150 miles north of Phoenix, city officials decided they’d rather plan a laser light show than organize fireworks that they might have to cancel at the last minute, if weather conditions mean they can’t safely conduct the show.

“We are facing dangerous conditions,” said Sarah Langley, a city spokeswoman. She said the city had yet to make any decisions about whether to continue replacing fireworks with laser light shows in the coming years.

in North Lake Tahoe, California, City officials said They decided to replace the annual 4th of July fireworks display with drones, also due to fire hazards, as well as other environmental hazards. (A variety of Chemicals that can be contaminated are needed To make the fireworks big, loud and colorful.)

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attributed to him…Elias Funes/Al Ittihad, via The Associated Press

displays in Lake Don Pedroabout 50 miles east of Modesto, California, and ClaremontCalifornia, about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, was also canceled due to a severe drought in the state.

This is the third year in a row that the show in Claremont has been cancelled, city spokeswoman Melissa Volaro said. She said it takes about 650,000 gallons of water to wet the area where the fireworks are being set off, which is impossible given the current water restrictions. Instead, she said, the city was planning to hold a concert in the park.

Other cities have canceled their shows due to staff shortages.

Cal Gallery in Sacramento She said she needs to focus her staff and resources At the upcoming State Fair and Food Festival, and thus was unable to host the Independence Day fireworks. in Ocean City, Maryland, The authorities said Two fireworks displays could not be held due to “lack of labor”. Minneapolis officials also said They had to cancel the show Due to construction in a local park, in addition to staffing problems.

In many other parts of the country, including New York City, Independence Day celebrations continue as planned. For some, this is the first time they have displayed fireworks since before the coronavirus pandemic.

Julie L Hickman, CEO of American Fireworks Association.

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Ms Hickman said that while some shows have been cancelled, she still expects the number of professional fireworks shows across the country to outpace those of 2020 and 2021.

“Demand is at 110 percent of pre-pandemic levels,” Heckman said, adding that she expects nearly 17,000 shows across the country in the days around Independence Day. (She said that before the coronavirus pandemic, there were about 16,000 performances during this period nationwide.)

Some residents of cities that have had their shows canceled are planning to light their own fireworks. Hickman said some types of consumer fireworks are legal in 49 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, although individual counties and cities can enforce bans. Consumer fireworks are prohibited in Massachusetts.

attributed to him…Joshua Rashad McFadden for The New York Times

In 2020, when the vast majority of public events were canceled, TNT sales increased significantly, in terms of total sales and the number of people buying their products, said Dennis Revell, a spokesperson for TNT Fireworks, the nation’s largest consumer fireworks distributor. “We kept a lot of that in 2021,” said Revell. But he added: “It is too early to predict what 2022 will look like.”

However, some small retailers have come under heavy criticism due to supply chain issues.

Yvonne Hall, owner of Discount Fireworks in Brainerd, Minn., about 130 miles northwest of Minneapolis, said she’s been waiting for some orders, which previously took about a week to arrive, for more than a month.

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She said she contacted 12 different suppliers looking for a particularly beloved fireworks: Pure Fantasy. “It’s beautiful and colourful, the fountain is pointing upwards and people love it,” said Mrs. Hall. “It’s been slow this year,” she added. “I just hope maybe in the next few days it gets better.”

In Queen Creek, about 40 miles southeast of Phoenix, where public fireworks displays have been canceled, another vendor said its business has rebounded, thanks in part to the cancellations.

“They are really frustrated, which is a shame, but they are really excited to try these new fountains at home,” Christian Vallis, who runs the fireworks stand, said of her clients. “They will get a good offer,” she added.

Since 2020, a fireworks enthusiast from Green Bay, Wisconsin, about 115 miles north of Milwaukee, Michael Luciak said he’s been trying to ramp up his own show, hoping to wow Independence Day revelers who may have had nowhere else to go.

The best moment is the grand finale, said Mr. Luciak, the farmer who hosts shows in his employer’s cornfield. “I can feel the shock waves in my chest,” he said, “and I know I’m making a statement that people will see or hear for miles.”

“All the cheers and the honking of horns, that’s one of the best feelings in the world,” he added.


30 June 2022

An earlier version of this article misidentified the town of Queen Creek, Arizona, which is southeast of Phoenix, not to the southwest.