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Fireworks shortage affecting local business before 4th of July

Posted at 10:18 PM, Jun 24, 2021

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. — Fireworks stands are popping up all over Green Country as they prepare for the 4th of July, but you may notice there are fewer than normal.

“What we’re seeing this year is unprecedented," said Melissa Torkleson, managing partner at Big Blast Fireworks. "We have not experienced this shortage to this magnitude ever.”

Torkleson said in their 35 years of business, she's never seen anything like this.

She said China produced fewer fireworks this year. Combine that with shipping delays and she, along with much of the country, is experiencing a fireworks shortage.

“I’m 40 percent below what I sold last year at my Glenpool building," Torkleson said. "And here in Sand Springs, I’m 25 percent below what I sold. So, we do have a little inventory that’s coming this weekend. And we’re optimistic that we’ll at least be able to close those gaps."

Because there are so few fireworks, Big Blast is only opening six of its 13 tents and stands. Many of those locations act as fundraisers for local church groups or sports teams, which will now have to find other ways to raise money.

"That’s hard for us to hear because we love what we do," Torkleson said. "We love being able to invest in young people for fundraising opportunities and groups and not being able to do that is hard for us.”

That low supply is also driving some firework prices higher along with their demand. Torkleson suggests go early and get them while you can.

“With the nationwide shortage, we can’t promise we’re going to have a good volume on the 3rd and 4th," Torkleson said. "So, we’re encouraging people to shop now that way they can get what they need and have a great show.”

Torkleson said her two indoor buildings, one in Sand Springs and one in Glenpool, are open. She expects their six tents and stands locations to be open by Monday.

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