Inflation, supply chain issues jeopardize fireworks celebration

Press Staff Writer

        Anticipating a 30% increase in the cost of fireworks and aiming to avert a fizzle, Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking community support to overcome nearly $5,000 in estimated additional expenses for its 2022 July 4th Independence Day Celebration.
        “Oak Harbor has a history of providing quality, family-friendly community events,” said Valerie Winterfield, Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce executive director. “The Chamber is committed to continuing our annual tradition of having the area’s best fireworks. Amid inflation and supply chain issues, we really need everyone’s help.” 
        The Village’s “locally famous” fireworks show is produced by American Fireworks of Hudson, Ohio. Each year, thousands of spectators from all over Northwest Ohio attend the free, half-day community event, which includes food vendors, local entertainment, the Apple Festival Royalty Duck Race on the river, inflatables for the children and more.
        According to Julie Heckman, American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) executive director, backyard consumer fireworks have “more than doubled in sales, since 2020” due, in part, to public shows being canceled. That trend has continued. Approximately 16,000 Independence Day fireworks displays typically occurred nationwide, pre-COVID. Despite lighter COVID protocols and restrictions, significantly fewer public shows are expected to return across the United States in 2022.
        Predominately a product of China, fireworks compete for space on cargo ships. Staffing shortages in the shipping and trucking industries, as well as factory shutdowns, have contributed to product delays and cost increases for both fireworks production companies and backyard consumers.
        Each year the Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce raises funds for its Independence Day event, asking for help from businesses and individuals alike. This year’s inflation and supply chain issues push Oak Harbor to require additional support to maintain the same quality of show, Winterfield said.
        Bill Howey, owner of Howey’s House of Brews on Water Street, supports the Independence Day activities because they bring people to the community and provide a tangible boom to the Oak Harbor economy. “Whenever you can get foot traffic, it’s a positive,” Howey said. “July 4th is one of my two biggest days of the year.”
        Oak Harbor’s Fireworks Fund Reverse Raffle will take place May 14 at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $50 and include dinner and a chance to win more than $5,000 in cash and prizes, with a grand prize of $2,500. Tickets may be purchased from Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce or any board member.
        “Supporter Stars” may be purchased at local businesses and the chamber office, Memorial Day through June. All proceeds go directly to the fireworks fund. The Chamber is also working with the Oak Harbor High School Student Council to organize    a school fundraiser.
        “A majority of the funding for the event has always come from businesses and annual sponsors, but with requests for donations coming in daily, it is not fair to rely on the businesses alone,” Winterfield said. “We need support from the community members to help keep this event great.” 
        Donations may be made directly to the fireworks fund by dropping off or mailing a donation to the Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce at 161 W. Water St., Oak Harbor, OH 43449.
        For more information, email or call 419-898-0479.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association