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story.lead_photo.caption Dean Theissen of the Real Deal Fireworks Stand located near the Cole County Jaycees Fairgrounds adjusts the stand's tent flaps due to the wind. (Shaun Zimmerman / News Tribune photo)

Some fireworks sellers around Jefferson City said it will be tough to keep stands and stores stocked for the Fourth of July this year.

"We're at the mercy of China because they are the only ones making commercial fireworks, and because it costs more to get them shipped to the U.S., the prices are going up," said Paul Bax, of Bax Fireworks on Pleasant Hill Road.

Bax said shipping costs have tripled to bring goods from China to the United States, and that's led to 5-7 percent price increases from fireworks factories in that country.

"China is also shutting down a lot of fireworks factories for safety factors," Bax said. "Unless you bought and stocked up a couple of years ago, you're going to have to really work to keep up your supply."

Bax said he's trying to buy from everywhere he can and tries to stock year-round.

"I've had some good wholesalers taking care of me, and I'm trying to keep those guys in business," Bax said. "Still, though, it's been hard to get some of the popular things like the kids' snaps and artillery shells. It's all hard to get a hold of."

Bax's store is open normally from the first of June through July 10, but after that date, it's only open if people call to set up a time.

"Fireworks sales drop off drastically after the Fourth of July, so it doesn't make sense to have the store open regular hours," Bax said.

"We do see fireworks being used more at special events like weddings and graduations, but the offseason use is minuscule compared to what we do in June and July."

Officials with Salute to America said they have talked with the fireworks company that will put on the fireworks show on the Fourth of July, and they don't anticipate any changes to the show due to supply issues.

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