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No Fourth of July fireworks is disappointing to both audiences and the businesses that put them on

How a Maine fireworks business is surviving during COVID-19.

FARMINGDALE, Maine — In most Maine towns, plans for Independence Day fireworks shows have fizzled out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s disappointing news for the many thousands of people who show up to watch. It’s also a big financial blow to the companies that count on them for their livelihood.

One of those companies is Central Maine Pyrotechnics and Pyro City Maine Fireworks Stores owned and operated by Steve Marson. 

“We do about three-hundred displays a year," Marson said. "We had one hundred-ten shows scheduled for the June 24th through July 5th time-frame.”

But with most municipal shows cancelled due to the pandemic, he says his business is down almost a million dollars.

“July 4th this year originally we had 55 shows scheduled for that one day in five New England States. (And now?) We have… nine shows," Marson said.

There is a silver lining. Marson says his company has been hired by about a dozen private groups who want a professional fireworks show. His consumer fireworks retail sales are up 30 percent as well. But this doesn't balance the books. 

"No, No, No. As I said, we’ll lose a million dollars revenue on the display side, again we had some rain this week. If we have a red flag danger people can’t use fireworks," Marson said. “We were into a red flag danger earlier this week which would have been like losing both sides of the business.”

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“What can come out of this, looking into next year, there are people who will see it all work well this year and everybody liked it, they can be our new customers next year," Marson said. “I’m not the only guy. You know, it’s the hospitality business, it’s the bars and restaurants and everything. Everybody’s feeling the same thing I am”

“It takes all of us to get over this," Marson added. "And to work through it. And we will because 2021 will be a great year…I hope!”

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