Boy oh boy was it a LOUD weekend. Where I live, Cedar Falls, it felt like there were fireworks going off all weekend. Legally, this is the first year that they could legally be lit off in Cedar Falls so, it makes sense I guess.

But the increased use in our neighborhood was not the only increase. As someone who's bought, legally, fireworks in Iowa since moving back in 2018, I also noticed one more increase... the cost.

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I did a little homework and figured out exactly why the cost was... exploding. Heh, sorry. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, our consumption use blew up (sorry again) since the beginning of the pandemic.

Photo by Anthony Roberts on Unsplash
Photo by Anthony Roberts on Unsplash

Taking only consumer fireworks, not what the pros that do city 4th displays use, look at the change from 2019-2022:

  • 2019: 248.9 Million lbs
  • 2020: 385.8 Million lbs.
  • 2021:416.3 Million lbs.

2022 figures are not yet available, but it can be assumed they're on pace to match or beat 2021.

That's a lot of red, white, and BOOM, no? KCRG explains further cost increases can be attributed to the higher cost of shipping prices from China. As you might imagine with everything travel-related costing more, shipping pyrotechnics abroad is no cheap feat.

Naturally, an increase in cost for consumer fireworks also equals an increased cost in what the pros use. As a result, you may have noticed your area's Independence Day festival fireworks may have been shorter or even less spectacular this year.

Did you buy any fireworks this year? Did you notice a cost increase?

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