Jun 9, 2022 - News

Staffing shortages ruin July 4 fireworks shows around D.C.

Fourth of July fireworks over the D.C. skyline.
Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

You can’t have a Fourth of July celebration without fireworks, right? So, some of America’s local b-day parties are being rescheduled in order to do Independence Day right.

What’s happening: Both the town of Vienna and the city of Fairfax had to reschedule their Independence Day fireworks due to a shortage of licensed pyrotechnic staff at Zambelli Fireworks, the company both cities contracted for their events. 

Details: Zambelli has had to cancel shows across the country. President Michael Rieck, who joined the company alongside new ownership three months ago, says he’s deeply sorry and will “(do) anything in (his) power” to avoid having to postpone and cancel shows again.

Zoom out: William Bulifant, owner of Dominion Fireworks in Petersburg, near Richmond, tells Axios that he’s received a number of requests from organizers around Virginia and neighboring states who’ve had their fireworks shows canceled. 

  • Staggering fireworks shipping costs and delays are also leading to show cancellations, Bulifant adds.

One consolation for Northern Virginians: Fairfax’s parade will still take place on July 4. You can celebrate for two days. 

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