ASU professor weighs in on fireworks supply chain issues as Valley cities pivot, cancel shows

Phoenix, Lake Pleasant cancel 4th of July fireworks as Fountain Hills moves up celebrations.
The City of Phoenix and Lake Pleasant have both canceled 4th of July fireworks shows this year, citing supply chain issues.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 6:46 AM MST|Updated: Jun. 29, 2022 at 7:01 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The City of Phoenix and Lake Pleasant have both canceled 4th of July fireworks shows this year, citing supply chain issues.

Arizona’s Family spoke with a professor of supply chain management at Arizona State University, who estimates Americans will spend $2.5 billion on Independence Day celebrations this year. Hitendra Chaturvedi says when it comes to fireworks and the supply chain, it comes down to four challenges: less supply, delays, more expensive products, and a labor shortage. In some cases, Chaturvedi says companies are getting 50% less of what they ordered.

“I teach it to my students: the strength of any supply chain is the strength of the weakest link,” he said. “The weakest link at the moment is production in China. We have been ordering so many goods, and China is just coming out of the shutdown of major cites. Their factories are not running on all cylinders at this moment.” What should you, the consumer, expect? “If you’re going to buy some fireworks, you’ll get less variety,” Chaturvedi said. “And whatever you will get will be more expensive. So please set your expectations.”

While some cities cancel fireworks, the town of Fountain Hills is pivoting after running into staffing issues. It has moved up its Independence Day celebrations to Friday with a First at the Fountain event. “It’s really rare that we were able to do that so quickly, and that all happened in one day,” said Linda Ayres, the town recreation manager. “So, I’m very thankful.”

Ayres says it wasn’t a town staffing issue, but the fireworks company they hired for the show did not have enough workers available on the 4th. When it comes to commercial fireworks, Ayers says there are few companies to hire. “The insurance that they have to carry is rather large. So, we really know of only two locally that can handle that and both of them were having supply chain issues,” she added.

The Fountain Hills celebration starts at 7 p.m. at Fountain Park on Friday, July 1. There will be live music from the 80s cover band, “Rock Lobster” and a number of food trucks. More information here.