COVID-19 takes toll on fireworks industry

Coronavirus

MANCHESTER, N.H. (CNN) – The coronavirus pandemic is causing widespread postponements and cancellations of major gatherings. With fewer concerts and sporting events, that means fewer fireworks displays.

The pyrotechnics industry is struggling this year, with the Fourth of July likely to make things worse.

Atlas Pyrovision estimates the industry will experience a 75% decrease this year.

“The entertainment business, which is what we’re in, is been decimated,” Atlas Pyrovision VP Matt Shea said.

Atlas is losing about 90% of its displays, including the larger shows over the crucial 4th of July holiday.

“Typically, we produce 225 displays over that 4th of July period. And right now, were looking at about producing 20 throughout New England,” Shea said.

He said it’s hard to plan amid so much uncertainty in the pandemic. Most of their business revolves around large groups.

“We’re still working with the like the New England Patriots to come up with something that is different than their normal game presentations, pyrotechnics displays. Maybe stuff that is something more seen on TV,” he said.

Shea says Atlas is surviving though thanks to stimulus money and its four New Hampshire retail locations.

“The stores, currently, are doing well. They’re a little above last year; however, we’ve only been open for four weeks,” Shea said.

Independence Day shows have been rescheduled for Labor Day weekend. And Shea hopes that can still happen.

“It’s a gamble because all we’re doing is sort of kicking the proverbial can down the road and hope we it’s going to still be there when we get back.”

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