Fireworks vendor

Rachael Bailey, independent contractor with TNT fireworks sets up product at a firework tent in the Mitchell Stadium parking lot Monday.

BLUEFIELD — Vendors stocking fireworks are appearing around the region as the Fourth of July weekend approaches, but shipping costs elevated by a global pandemic are making supplies smaller this year.

In Bluewell, a tent was set up last Saturday by Pole Night Distributors out of Hillsville, Va. off Route 460. Jacob Sossamon of Pole Night said that four pallets of fireworks had been set up for sale. More fireworks were available last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on shipping has created a shortage.

“We’re trying to get more,” he said. “The stuff is still coming from China.”

Despite the shortage, local vendors still have a good variety of fireworks for sale this summer.

“We have pretty much everything you can get,” Sossamon said. “The mortars are popular. It (sales) will probably start picking up next week.”

In Bluefield, TNT Fireworks from Wyoming County had set up shop.

“We just now opened up this morning and we had a couple of customers,” sales clerk Rachael Bailey said. “We don’t expect to get really moving yet. It’ll pick up on the weekend. And we’re here for the duration.”

Bailey said her location didn’t get some of the larger fireworks this year; her supplier had told her that shipping the merchandise has become more expensive. They did have mortars that are popular in the area as well as other fireworks.

Fireworks are still affordable, she said.

“Oh, definitely, and we’ve already had several customers,” Bailey stated, adding that people are stocking up on fireworks sooner this year. “When they’re gone, I can’t get any more.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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