How Much Americans Spend on Fireworks

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There’s no doubt that Americans love the Fourth of July, but they may love their fireworks even more. From the year 2000 to the year 2019, the amount of money Americans spent on fireworks grew from $407 million to a staggering $1 billion. But, what happened in the pandemic-affected year 2020, and how are sales looking for 2021?

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Here’s a look at the breakdown of what Americans are currently spending on fireworks, what is affecting the cost and some additional fireworks-related information.

What Happened to Fireworks Spending in 2020?

In 2020, the world effectively shut down due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Yet, Americans would not be denied their fireworks shows for the Fourth of July. Although most corporate- and government-sponsored fireworks shows were cancelled, individual American citizens kept up their love affair with the explosive delights.

Surprisingly, fireworks sales hit record highs of an astonishing $2 billion in 2020. Then again, setting off fireworks likely provided a much-needed sense of normalcy in a year that was anything but, perhaps explaining the buying surge.

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How Are Sales Looking in 2021?

In 2021, it would make sense for sales to build on the momentum shown in 2020. In fact, with the American economy reopening and mask mandates falling by the wayside, fireworks sales should theoretically be skyrocketing. Yet, the same supply chain disruptions that have created shortages for everything from appliances to bicycles in the U.S. have hit the fireworks industry as well.

Industry experts project that the supply of fireworks for the Independence Day holiday will be down about 30% over 2020. As the U.S. imported about 255 million pounds of fireworks in 2020, that only leaves an expected 178.5 million pounds of fireworks available for this year’s festivities, or about $1.4 billion.

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Cost of Fireworks Shows

According to Premier Pyrotechnics, a Missouri-based fireworks company, a typical small-town or community fireworks show lasting 10 to 20 minutes costs between $2,000 and $7,000. Fireworks pyromusicals, which have large amounts of fireworks synchronized to music with computers, cost $1,000 to $2,000 per minute, typically exceeding $20,000.

While $20,000 is nothing to sneeze at, it’s also nothing compared to the more elaborate fireworks displays put on by major corporations and metropolises. Macy’s puts on the largest fireworks show in America, and in 2021, it will run for several nights across all five of New York City’s boroughs, from June 29 to the climax on July 4 at the Empire State Building. The 44-year old tradition reportedly costs approximately $6 million.

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Of course, private fireworks shows conducted by individual Americans are much cheaper than the fancy displays shown around the world on TV. At the online store for Captain Boom Fireworks LLC, a simple six-pack of “Window Shaker” rockets costs just $11.99, while the “Storm Front Assortment,” containing six full packs of 200- and 500-gram repeaters, is listed at $225. However, as seems to be the problem across the U.S., supply chain issues have rendered this assortment “out of stock,” along with many others at the store.

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Last updated: July 1, 2021

About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

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