“Midwesterners love fireworks,” says Steven Whitt with Wald Fireworks just south of Lee’s Summit in Lake Winnebago. The company has a retail location but is primarily a commercial producer of fireworks displays for the Chiefs, Royals, and other local events big and small.
He was not surprised by the rankings as they have locations in the top three states.
Missouri shoots off the most fireworks in the United States, the report said. The site’s research shows that Missourians import more than 42 million fireworks, which means there are enough fireworks in the state to shoot off roughly seven per person. “For a state that is anything but lenient on what and when you can shoot off fireworks, that is sure a lot of boom powder,” the report said.
Whitt says that in Missouri, residents can only legally shoot fireworks within a window of time around July 4th and New Years. “When they do, they like the big displays. “The public is looking for a cake or repeating device. You light one fuse and there may be 20 or up to 400 fireworks that go off,” he told Metro Voice. “Whether for themselves or to watch at a public event, people also love the golden willows because they are big and fill the sky like a weeping willow tree.”
After Nebraska at No. 2, Kansas is third on the list. Kansans purchase 12 million fireworks each year, which is enough for each person to shoot off 4.2 per person. Alabama, South Carolina, Wyoming, Nevada, North Dakota, Indiana and Ohio also rank in the top 10.
Unlike Missouri, Kansas does not regulate when fireworks can be shot off, but leaves that to local municipalities and counties. In Missouri you can shoot them off from June 25 through June 30, fireworks can be shot off from noon to 10 p.m., from July 1 through July 3 from noon to 11 p.m. and on Independence Day from noon to midnight.
“To determine that states with disproportionately high amounts of fireworks, and thus the most firework economic activity, we used population numbers from the U.S. Census,” the website said. “From there, we determined the states with most firework spending per capita.”
Even with firework costs up by 15 percent this year and shortages reported, there’s still expected to be a lot of celebrating in the Show-Me and Sunflower states. Missouri’s fireworks officially opened for business on Tuesday and can operate through July 10. State Fire Marshal Tim Bean said the fireworks supply is expected to be well stocked this time around.
“When the COVID-19 event broke out, the supply and demand couldn’t be met there for about a year and a half,” he said. “But the lines opened up, and they started receiving the ordered fireworks that they hadn’t received. And so actually what happened there was a stockpile and we’re able to have the product now on hand.”
Wald, which will celebrate 100 years in 2024, is a major supplier for those non-profit, or other, seasonal fireworks stand. They say the demand shows no sign of letting up in years to come.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice