By Nick Reagan | May 27, 2020 at 12:12 AM EDT - Updated May 27 at 12:25 AM
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The coronavirus is causing some local municipalities and organizations to rethink their annual fireworks displays.
Leaders in North Charleston and the Isle of Palms have already pulled the plug on their festivities. North Charleston officials said a tight budget and safety concerns are the biggest problems.
Isle of Palms leaders echoed the sentiment. However, they have decided to take the money they would normally spend on fireworks and give it to employees as a bonus.
"I’d like to redirect those funds, approximately $35,000, to be split evenly among all city employees as a one-time bonus in appreciation for all their hard work during COVID-19," said Isle of Palms City Council Member Jimmy Ward.
Summerville, Patriots Point, and the display put on by the RiverDogs are all still being discussed.
A spokesperson for Patriots Point said it costs about $35,000 to put on their display and most of that comes from a grant from Mount Pleasant. They are waiting to hear back from the city on if and how they can make their fireworks work.
Goose Creek is planning on holding their display, however, that is tentative at best and still could be canceled depending on what things look like closer to the Fourth of July.
Despite the shows shutting down, fireworks retailers are gearing up for a big year.
“The phone has been ringing for fireworks in May,” said Kevin Carpenter, owner of Fireworks Masters. “It’s going to be a really big year for people in their backyards. One, because we’ve been cooped up, and two, because the Fourth of July is on a Saturday.”
Carpenter says he is opening his fireworks store a week earlier than normal because of all of the interest.
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