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Willoughby cancels fireworks due to companies' 'scheduling conflicts' and 'staffing challenges'

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Posted at 5:03 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 22:18:52-04

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio — The City of Willoughby has canceled its Fourth of July fireworks show due to issues with the fireworks companies they have contacted, according to a Facebook post from the city.

The traditional fireworks show will instead take place on Sunday, Sept. 5, during Labor Day Weekend.

The post from the city states that they contacted multiple fireworks companies but were informed that “due to scheduling conflicts and staffing challenges,” they cannot produce fireworks for the Fourth of July.

Roberto Sorgi, with American Fireworks in Hudson, said the fireworks industry is facing a nationwide shortage that stems from the boom they saw in sales last year, when people wanted to purchase their own fireworks.

"All the fireworks companies sold out. I mean retailers across the nation were up 100 to 125% and no one had enough inventory, at that time, no one could’ve predicted that because two months prior our doors were closed — we couldn't even open," he said.

But that boom is now creating a bust for some retailers.

"Coming into this year, retailers around the nation doubled down on the orders. They tried to get a lot of orders in, so it clogged the pipeline," he said.

He said his shop is fully stocked but warns people to shop early.

"Come now and come early," he said.

He said for cities and municipalities that waited for COVID-19 restrictions to lift to plan displays, it may be too late for some of them.

"There's no crews left and product is slim," said Sorgi.

The last time the city hosted a July Fourth fireworks display was in 2019. Willoughby canceled Independence Day fireworks in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.