Firefly festival not a serious disruption, nearby residents say

Partial closures on Persimmon Tree and Leipsic roads because of the Firefly Musical Festival  can force residents on Persimmon Tree Lane to have to take a roundabout way toward the city, (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Partial closures on Persimmon Tree and Leipsic roads because of the Firefly Musical Festival can force residents on Persimmon Tree Lane to have to take a roundabout way toward the city, (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

DOVER — Occasionally, when the wind blew right, mid-morning sounds of the Firefly Music Festival’s awakening drifted into hearing distance of local residents.

For the most part, however, there was no telling that the Persimmon Park neighborhood had about 90,000 temporary neighbors nearby.

Lounging on their front porch on Persimmon Circle East on Friday morning, Bill and Vi Loomis said they’ve grown accustomed to large-scale events coming their way every few months, and they really don’t feel invaded.

The Firefly crowd hasn’t been any more intrusive than the NASCAR fans who attend race weekends twice a year, they said.

“We’ve never had any problems with any of them,”  said Mr. Loomis, a 20-year Persimmon Park resident.

“There’s a nice group of people that comes to Firefly.”

And when it’s time for sleep, that’s just what the Loomises do. Sometimes they hear the music, sometimes they don’t.

“The noise doesn’t bother me,” Mr. Loomis said. “At times I hear a ‘bum, bum, bum’ from the music during the night, but it doesn’t keep me up.”

Standing in front of his Welch Drive home of approximately 25 years, John Prince said, “Once you get inside and turn the air conditioner and TV on, you can’t hear too much.”

His only complaint is partial closures on Persimmon Tree and Leipsic roads that cause the locals to take a roundabout way toward the city, Mr. Loomis said. When he needs to make medicine pickups for his wife, it’s inconvenient and concerning to leave her alone for too long.

Some residents on Persimmon Tree Lane are concerned about the potential for accidents. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Some residents on Persimmon Tree Lane are concerned about the potential for accidents. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

“The good news is that if there’s an emergency, there’s plenty of EMS at the festival that can get here quickly,” Mr. Loomis said.

While shopping on Wednesday, Mr. Loomis noticed a vehicle with Rhode Island license plates in front of him, with the driver holding a cigarette out the window and a passenger doing the same.

“I just knew what they were here for,” he said.

The chief concern of Rick Thomas, a 15-year resident on Beth Place, is that the festival-goers walking on Persimmon Tree Road represent an accident waiting to happen.

“At times I feel like I have to dodge and weave through them,” said Mr. Thomas, taking a break from mowing grass.

“The slope of the road makes it hard to walk and I’m afraid there’s going to be an accident some day unless something is done.”

Mr. Thomas said he doesn’t believe attendees will hop on festival-provided buses for easier, safer, quicker transport. He suggested using tractors pulling them along in hayride-style travel.

“Make it a little fun and I bet they will use it more,” he said.

A Persimmon Park resident for a year, Chris Castell, 32, was hosting co-workers for the weekend and was excited for a variety of reasons.

“It’s good for the city’s economy, and for local artists and musicians who don’t often have opportunity to attend this big a thing so close to home,” he said, readying to make a quick trip to the Firefly grounds.

“My mom is freaking out about Paul McCartney tonight. They have something for everyone and it’s all good for everybody who comes. There’s a really beautiful thing going on here.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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