MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Another chance to celebrate Independence Day with explosions in the sky is snuffed out as St. Paul announces they won’t host a fireworks show this year, joining Minneapolis and Stillwater.

So, why are cities canceling or not hosting a show? Organizers of the Red White and Boom Festival in Minneapolis said they need at least six months to plan for massive crowds that can top 75,000. By the time restrictions loosened in May, it was too late for the entire production to come together.

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St. Paul held strong on not hosting a show this year for budgetary reasons, which Mayor Melvin Carter first explained in 2018 when he said the city didn’t “have $100,000 to spend on blowing up rockets over our city.” A statement from his office this year said, “The Mayor remains focused on balancing the many needs of our community including neighborhood safety and housing insecurity as he develops his 2022 city budget proposal and looks toward leveraging the enormous potential of American Rescue Plan funds.”

Production delays at firework factories in China have limited supply, which in turn jacked up the price of product. That’s why Stillwater decided to cancel its show this year.

Alex Roser is the chairman of Delano’s 4th of July Celebration. The city is known for having the largest and longest-running show in Minnesota.

“It is more expensive and it’s just harder to find stuff,” Roser said.

A fireworks display at the Minnesota State Capitol (credit: CBS)

He says they were lucky enough to save some fireworks they bought for last year’s canceled show. Donors then covered the cost increase.

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“We have one company in town celebrating their 50th anniversary, that’s Landscape Structures, and they really stepped up and gave us a big help there, especially after having an off-year where we didn’t have any revenue coming in,” He said.

Roser says that even the cost of food for the show is increasing due to the pandemic. In a normal year, he says his concerns about the nearby Crow River is that it might flood the firework launch area. This year, the river is extremely low because of the drought. Now the grass near the firework launch area is extremely dry.

“I’ve already had two meetings with our fire chief and he’s assured me, ‘Alex, you’re in good shape, don’t worry about it,’” Roser said.

That’s because fire crews will be staged in the fallout area, ready to handle any problems that spark up. Those in charge of setting off the fireworks can also make adjustments based on the wind direction.

“We do a pyro-musical. It’s now up to 28 minutes now,” Roser said. “I can’t wait to actually have a show this year.”

Alongside Delano, several Twin Cities communities will have fireworks displays, including Apple Valley, Bloomington, Blaine, Chanhassen, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Excelsior, Forest Lake, Lakeville, St. Louis Park, White Bear Lake and Woodbury.

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CHS Field in St. Paul will also have fireworks shows after the Saints games on July 3 and July 4.

Jeff Wagner