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Tough break for local business as small towns cancel or postpone fireworks displays

Nostalgia Pyrotechnics in Osco, Illinois says it has lost tens of thousands of dollars in lost business this summer

OSCO, Illinois — This year's Fourth of July celebrations will look a lot different as many small towns decide to forgo their fireworks displays out of caution in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. 

It's another tough break for businesses like Nostalgia Fireworks, a locally owned company that has operated in Osco, Illinois for the last 30 years. 

"I feel sorry for the towns. And all the people that want to see it," said lead operator Pete Neeld. 

Neeld said three small towns, Orion, Colona and Albany had one by one canceled or postponed their summer fireworks shows, leaving him with only one to put on Fourth of July weekend.

All of the canceled shows has added up to tens of thousands of dollars in lost business for Nostalgia Pyrotechnics, said another lead operator Barry Van Blaricom. 

"One of the things with fireworks is it usually is a very narrow window to make your sales," Van Blaricom said. "And now with that window shutting because of the uptick in corona cases again it's really hurting the industry."

With the big shows cancelled, Nostalgia can only hope that more people will buy consumer fireworks for their backyard displays at home, though that can raise questions of safety. 

"I just ask that people be safe, and be considerate of your neighbors," Van Blaricom said.

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