This year’s Fourth of July celebrations might be different from those in years past. With many municipalities canceling their annual fireworks displays because of COVID-19, South Carolinians will have to find their own way to mark the occasion. That shouldn’t be a problem.
According to a 2018 study from Value Penguin, South Carolina ranks fifth for money spent per capita on fireworks, at $3.83 per person, or $19 million total. Anyone who has celebrated the Fourth here is familiar with the sounds of explosives ringing across neighborhoods as the aroma of backyard barbecues fills the air.
The Fourth is a solidly All-American holiday, though we are largely reliant on China to supply us with the explosives with which we celebrate. In 2018, we imported 96% of our fireworks stash from China. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, since China first began tinkering with this decorative firepower around 200 B.C. — only about 2,000 years before this country even came into existence.
One bright side to this year’s altered celebration is that it should be easy to remain socially distant from your uncle as he awkwardly beckons the family out front as dusk sets in to admire his amateur fireworks display. In 2020, we’ll take the good news anywhere we can get it. Happy Fourth of July.