Multicultural News

Fireworks business operator: Back-to-back holidays good for industry

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — Independence Day and recent Juneteenth celebrations have provided a much-needed boost for area fireworks shops.

Considering the high rate of inflation, fireworks are another thing to add to the list of price increases. Fireworks costs have gone up in the last couple years due to supply-chain shortages and delivery delays.

However, celebrating freedom often includes fireworks. Lynn’s Fireworks owner Summer Johnson says as more attention is being brought to Juneteenth. Add that holiday first celebrated in 2021 to July 4, and the fireworks business is recouping some of its losses. For small Black-owned businesses, it’s an important extra boost.

Johnson said that she’s “excited about it because it boosts our sales, because then you have to turn right back around for the Fourth. A lot of people will come in here and say, ‘I’m only celebrating Juneteenth’ and then they’ll come right back for the Fourth.”

Fireworks industry costs have shot up by roughly 35% since 2019, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. Factors include the costs of raw materials, shipping and labor.

Fireworkers shopper Darvin Lewis told News 8, “Unfortunately, fireworks, gas, food, everything right now, the prices are going up.”

Johnson says price spikes impact her store and others fireworks sellers. Despite that, she’s grateful for Lewis and other customers celebrating Juneteenth and the Fourth of July. It’s helping keep business steady.

“Truly excited about seeing the people that are now partaking in it and understand the true history of it,” said Lewis.

And although cost is a factor for some families, budgeting helps. Jake McCasland’s family prepared for the annual celebration. “We always have a little bit of extra budget for our fun money, so we just contribute a little bit more,” McCasland said. “But at the end of the day, the Fourth of July is once a year, and having fun with our children and our family and friends, we just like to see the fireworks up in the sky.”

Both customers said the cost is worth it to create good memories.

Some of those celebrating say people are still learning about Juneteenth, and, while that is an important holiday, they are still going to enjoy the Fourth of July.