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Firework vendors say think about buying now as nation hit by firework shortage

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -- Fourth of July is still months away, but it's not too early to think about getting your fireworks. That's the message from vendors in Siouxland. They said production and shipping delays could make finding your favorites, a little harder to find.

They're a common sight across the country during the summer. Firework stands and vendors are gearing up for another busy season.

"Last year was the best year in the firework business ever, for anybody," said John Barber, owner Zort's Fireworks in North Sioux City, South Dakota. "And all indications are this year will be like last year."

So stores across Siouxland, like Zort's are busy stocking shelves. But finding your favorite type of firework may be a bit more difficult this year.

"The freight has gone up dramatically since last year for our fireworks," said Barber. "The factories in China are not able to make as many fireworks this year as they have in the past because of COVID situations on both sides. Last year a lot of people like me sold out of fireworks, so therefore our Chinese orders are bigger. So the factories got behind that way."

Barber said fortunately, they stocked up on products early, getting most of them in last year.

"You'll see that our shelves are full," said Barber. "We have a pretty well-defined selection of everything that we've had in the past. There might be a few shortages here and there but overall we're in pretty good shape."

It's a similar story up the road at Lantis Fireworks.

"It's all over the world," said Don Lantis, owner of Lantis Fireworks. "Literally all over the world. As far as running out, no. But as far as may be running out of something you wanted, yes that could happen."

Lantis is also anticipating being busy again this year.

"It's going to be very busy, it's going to be like last year because people are still confined and now they get to go out and do something," said Lantis. "We get to go out and have fun."

And their advice for customers is the same.

"It wouldn't hurt to get in," said Lantis.

"I would suggest people get in a little earlier this year than they have in the past," said Barber. "If they come in on the 3rd or the 4th this year, you might find some holes in the inventory."

Both said while you will have plenty of fireworks to shoot off: you may have to alternate in what types you are used to buying. Barber said you may also see a slight increase in prices on items that are more difficult to get in.

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Michaela Feldmann

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