MILLSBORO – The town of Millsboro has officially sparked the financial fuse supporting the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce’s July 1 community fireworks extravaganza.
Town leaders joined chamber members and residents Thursday at the Stars & Stripes Kickoff, a summer cookout-type event highlighted by the presentation of the town’s supportive check for $10,000.
“Amy came to us about four months ago,” said Millsboro Mayor John Thoroughgood. “She mentioned that she’d like to do something for Millsboro; do something a little different.”
Serious discussion about a community-oriented fireworks show was in the works.
“The town said we’d do something with you. We are going to try it out and see what kind of venture this is,” said Mayor Thoroughgood. “The chamber of commerce is very supportive of the town of Millsboro. We try to support them. We’re offering them $10,000 in good faith.”
“Ten thousand dollars … it gives us a little bit of breathing room,” said Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Simmons.
A financial goal of $30,000 is the cost target in staging the fireworks show the evening of Saturday, July 1 around Cupola Park.
The chamber has several financial sponsors on board: Mattress Peddlers, Sussex County Council and now the town of the Millsboro.
“We’ve got other sponsors looking at things,” said Ms. Simmons. “Now, we are nowhere near our goal, but we are on our way.”
Sheldon Hudson, Millsboro’s town manager, believes this is a worthwhile investment.
“Town council wants Millsboro to be viewed as a regional hub within the county. I think this is a big step in that direction, to kind of get the public thinking along those lines of seeing Millsboro going to the next level,” said Mr. Hudson. “It’s a town with great history and a great past. It’s a town with even more potential. I think this is just one example of town council wanting to show that off. Council wanted to show its support to the chamber.”
A supportive fundraising arm for the cost of the fireworks show are special edition t-shirts.
“Anyone donating $25 to will get a t-shirt and their name will be on our Facebook page. They get recognition,” said Ms. Simmons. “We want this to be a community event. We want the community to be a part of it.”
T-shirts, made by Logomotive in Rehoboth, come in three colors (red, white or blue) in sizes ranging from small through 3X. Shirts feature the event “Stars & Stripes” theme logo.
Fireworks will be launched via remote control from pontoon-type barges on Millsboro Pond, just north of the Rt. 24 John J. Williams Higheway bridge near Cupola Park.
Brothers Pyro, a professional pyrotechnic firm out of Greenwood, will orchestrate the launching.
The family-friendly, community-based-event begins in daylight at Cupola Park at 6 p.m., with food vendors and entertainment, featuring popular disc jockey/entertainer Sky Brady. That leads up to the fireworks show around dusk.
“I know the chamber is wanting this to be a daytime spilling into the evening event,” said Mr. Hudson. “The fireworks will obviously be the apex, the climax of this but there are some events leading up to it.”
Many years ago, fireworks were staged in central Sussex; in Dagsboro and at Delaware Technical Community College.
Fireworks shows were also held in Millsboro in conjunction with Big Thursday, the town-wide celebration traditionally held later in the summer.
“Fireworks stopped here about 15 years ago with Big Thursday. I’m not sure when Dagsboro Church of God stopped, but it’s been a while since we’ve had fireworks around here,” said Ms. Simmons. “And we’ve never had fireworks in Millsboro for the Fourth of July. So, we are really, really excited.”
“My understanding is it will be the only such event on the U.S. 113 corridor in Sussex County,” said Mr. Hudson. “So instead of having to go to west or east people can stay right in Millsboro. Or if they are in Georgetown or Dagsboro or Clarksville they can come to Millsboro and not have to deal with beach traffic. I think it will be a really nice addition to the town. It’s exciting for our town.”
The rain date for the Millsboro show is July 2.
News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org