LOWER TOWNSHIP — The 19th annual Delaware Bay fireworks display is set to begin at 9:15 p.m. tonight, and it will cap off an Independence Day Carnival that includes amusement rides, bands, food and other festivities.
Deputy Mayor Kevin Lare said the festivities include the Mummers and other live music, four bands in all, suitable for children but also enjoyable to adults. Amusement rides, partly subsidized by the township, will only cost $1 per ride. Lare said there will be a dunk tank, basketball shooting game and other games.
The pyrotechnics are the big draw. The annual display, shot off from a barge in the bay, have drawn crowds as large as 20,000 people. Lare is not sure what to expect with the holiday falling in the middle of the week.
“It may be a little less but it’s still our hallmark event. It gets thousands of people and we’re still expecting a large turnout and people should be prepared for that,” Lare said.
Fireworks will be best seen between the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal and Emerson Avenue, though spectators can watch them from as far away as Higbee Beach and Sunset Beach. Sections of Shore Drive and Beach Drive will be closed to vehicular and bicycle traffic.
The carnival begins at 5 p.m. and runs until the fireworks start. There will be no parking in the carnival area, which is the last blocks of Franklin Boulevard and Washington Boulevard, from Atlantic Avenue to the beach.
Motorists are being warned by police not to block driveways, fire hydrants or intersections. Handicap parking is available on Holmes and Townbank roads between Beach Drive and Atlantic Avenue.
The Cape May-Lewes Ferry is hosting visitors as well, with plenty of places to set up on the outdoor lawns. There will be free entertainment as well including face painting and music from the Philadelphia-based band “Jumper,” set to play from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Ferry mascot Lighthouse Pete the Pirate will be there.
The ferry is also hosting a cruise to see the fireworks by sea, but it departs from the Delaware side, leaving Lewes at 7:15 p.m. and returning at 11 p.m. There will be live music and entertainment for children aboard the MV Twin Capes.
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