Zambelli Fireworks Displays Are Down 80 Percent Due to COVID-19

Jeff Oravitz
June 30, 2020 - 10:56 am

    PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many events have been canceled to postponed throughout our region, the state and the country. Fireworks displays are no exception. 

    Doctor George Zambelli, of Zambelli Fireworks, told Larry Richert and Kevin Battle, that the pandemic has had a major impact on their business. "It's certainly been devestating, not only to us, but the whole entertainment industry. Our indoor and outdoor events that we produce fireworks for are gathersings and as you know, with social distancing, gatherings are not going to happen."

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    Zambelli said 100 precent of their shows in April, May and June were canceled. Looking ahead to the rest of the year, he said 80 percent of their shows have already been canceled or postponed.

    "Interestingly, when 99.9 percent of the communities across the country are cancelling shows, the Beaver County Comissioners on Wednesday announced that they're going to put on a major Zambelli fireworks display in Beaver County at the confluence of the Beaver and Ohio River."

    That fireworks display is known as Beaver County BOOM and is scheduled to take place on July 4th.

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    With an event of that size, the number of people who may gather to watch and social distancing is a concern, said Zambelli. "The commissioners have worked with the four adjoining municipalities, designated certain spaces that families can congregate and naturally their supposed to social distance and wear masks. They've asked vendors not to set up their little shops that they usually do at events like this."

    He said in the many years they've been in operation, there's never been anything like what we're seeing as a result of the current pandemic. "Who would have ever thought something like this would have occurred, but it is what it is and you have to deal with it."

    The City of Pittsburgh cancelled their 4th of July fireworks. Brentwood, which hosts one of the bigger holiday celebrations in the area, cancelled their plans as well..

    While municipalities across the country are cancelling 4th of july plans, more fireworks are seemingly being set off by consumers. Some legal, some illegal. In Pittsburgh, fireworks have been going off almost nightly leading to a nearly 400 percent increase in complaints to the police. As a result, Pittsburgh has created a Fireworks Task Force, made up of members of the Pittsburgh Police and Fire Investigators.

    Zambelli Fireworks produces displays in approximately 40 states. Many municipalities are already looking to next year for the return of their fireworks displays.

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