Less bang for your buck: Supply chain issues affect fireworks

Brendan Heidner Ranger-review Staff Writer
Sunday, May 29, 2022
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With supply chain issues affecting every industry, consumers may notice their favorite fireworks are a little more expensive this year, however local enthusiasts are working to help the community still enjoy the upcoming Fourth of July.

According to co-owner of Concessions LLC James Ward, the cost of shipping to get fireworks in went up approximately $15,000 from last year.

“It’s been a zoo to say the least,” Ward said.

As an example, he noted it may have cost a supplier $10,000 to order fireworks last year whereas now it costs $25,000 this year.

“It’s just kind of difficult right now with everything the way it is because (fireworks) come from China for the most part,” Ward said. “I’ve tried to find places in the United States that sell fireworks, but there’s not really anybody that makes them. If they are (making them in the United States), I hate to say it, but they are way too expensive.”

The cost increase for suppliers will likely affect firework prices for consumers, however Ward hopes to keep his prices at the firework stand as low and affordable as possible.

“There will be an increase, but at the same time we don’t want to price ourselves out of business,” Ward said. “We just want to offer the best prices for people here in Glendive.”

Kennan Harris, a member of Makoshika Promotions which organizes the Fourth of July fireworks display at the Dawson County Fairgrounds, noted he is experiencing the price increases in preparations for this year’s display.

“From the supplier I get the product from, he said the prices did go up of course like everything else,” Harris said. “I’m assuming with everything else going on, it’s going to be tough to get the best bang for our buck.”

According to Harris, Makoshika Promotions has a goal to produce an $8,000 firework display this year and are over halfway to their goal with $6,000. After not putting on a firework

After not putting on a firework display over the last two years due to the drought, Harris is excited to bring one back this year.

“Not everybody can or will buy fireworks for their kids, so it’s just something that I really want the community to see,” Harris said.

He added that this year may mark his final firework display with Makoshika Promotions, but he hopes to continue putting them on independently in the years to come.

Harris has helped produce public firework displays for 20 years since 2002 in the various communities that he has lived and wants to continue producing them in Glendive as long as he can.

“I just don’t want to see the fireworks go away for the community,” Harris said.

Not only are the prices for fireworks increasing, but Ward noted that orders for fireworks are backed up almost a year from now.

“If you look at the ships that are backed up at the ports and everything else, it takes a while to get (fireworks) in,” Ward said. “Being a smaller producer, . . . it takes us a little longer (to get them in) . . . We ordered early enough that we were still able to get our fireworks in.”

Despite the price increases and shipping delays, Ward believes the firework market will still thrive through this year’s Fourth of July season.

“I think we’ll still have people that buy and enjoy the Fourth of July,” Ward said. “They might not buy as much, but they’ll get their bang for their buck.”

Reach Brendan Heidner at news@rangerreview.com.

“There will be an increase, but at the same time we don’t want to price ourselves out of business. We just want to offer the best prices for people here in Glendive,”

James Ward, co-owner of Concession LLC