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Local Fireworks Stands Face Shortage As Holidays Approach

SPANISH FORK, Utah — We’re still days away from firework stands opening up in Utah, but many vendors said they won’t have the supply they want before the July holidays.

Some even planned ahead and ordered early, but their shipments were held up overseas.

Doug Gordon likes to sell his own brand of Utah-themed fireworks, sometimes serving as his own model to add that extra flare. But this year, he won’t have everything his customers expect.

Gordon’s fireworks have their own Utah flair. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

“We missed the shipping container carrier twice, and then the third time, they cancelled on us,” he said.

A shipping container full of his products won’t make it to Utah until some time in August, thanks to a back log of work created by pandemic shutdowns in China.

Gordon has been scrambling to check with suppliers in the U.S. to find what he needs.

“Some didn’t have fireworks, they were totally sold out,” said Gordon. “And this other company did have fireworks and I knew them, so we made a deal.”

He eventually found some more generic fireworks from out east, but it’s still not the supply he would normally have. 

“I have like 50 percent of the inventory that I would usually have to sell,” Gordon said. “I hope people come early because I’m going to be out of fireworks (and) sell out quite quickly.”

Matt Shadle of Mad Matt’s fireworks has seen some of the same problems.

“Things have turned out a little weather than we expected,” said Shadle, who has been doing this for 25 years. “I’ve never seen anything like it, like what we’re seeing this year.”

He ordered early and thought he got ahead of the rush, but said the big guys, like Amazon and Walmart, are taking priority when it comes to shipping.

Matt Shadle of Mad Matt’s fireworks. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

“It’s very frustrating and there’s not a whole lot you can do,” he said. “Because you think ‘hey, I’ll pick up the phone, I’ll have a truck go get it.’ You can’t do that.”

And he believes the demand is still there. He said some people have already called him to plan for big orders.

“If we don’t run out of everything, we’re going to run out of a lot of things,” Shadle said.

Shadle said ten inch sparklers are already very tough to find and assortment packs will sell out fast.

Both he and Gordon add that they believe fireworks can be set off safely if people stick to the rules and keep out of areas where it’s restricted.

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