There won’t be any fireworks lighting up the sky over Chestertown this 4th of July, and town budget cuts are to blame.
The display is traditionally set off from Wilmer Park at the Chester riverfront. But a post on the town’s events page from June 30 announced, “There will be no 4th of July Fireworks in Chestertown this year (2019),” and directed folks to a list of other fireworks displays in the area. (Click here for that list.)
Chestertown Mayor Chris Cerino tells Bay Bulletin, “Due to flat revenues since 2009 (and rising costs), the Town has had several tough budgeting cycles in recent years and fireworks ended up on the chopping block.”
Mayor Cerino also points to the improvements at the town marina (re-branded as Port of Chestertown Marina, as Bay Bulletin reported this spring) as a secondary reason for the cancellation.
Cerino says there is still “spot dredging” underway at the marina, and floating finger piers are still being installed, and asphalt work is still being finished in the parking lot.
“If there was ever a good year to take a year off from fireworks, this was it,” Cerino says.
But, the mayor says the town is looking into fundraising options to bring back the annual fireworks for next year. He promises there will be some form of fireworks display in 2020, when the 4th of July falls on a Saturday, creating a great opportunity to fill the revamped marina.
-Meg Walburn Viviano