Chattanooga area fireworks supplies mostly holding strong, although shortage has cast shadow

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Angela and Tony Boston shop at Dixieland Fireworks on Saturday, June 12, 2021 in East Ridge, Tenn.

Fourth of July fireworks displays may lose some of their sparkle this year as consumers burn through a nationwide shortage of inventory.

Even dealers who are well-stocked at the moment say some favorites may be harder to come by as Independence Day nears.

"Right now we're stacked floor to ceiling, but we always encourage people to shop early to get the best selection," said Keesha Woodard, whose family owns the Exit 1A and Dixieland Fireworks stores in East Ridge.

Distributors and dealers say pyrotechnics are the latest casualty of rising demand and limited supply, an issue that has similarly plagued consumer goods ranging from bicycles and chlorine to lumber during the coronavirus pandemic.

"First it was toilet paper, now fireworks," said Brandon Corn, general manager of retail operations for Fireworks Supermarket, which operates 20 stores in eight states, including in Jasper and Cleveland, Tennessee.

"I