Planning underway for Millsboro’s 3rd Stars & Stripes celebration

MILLSBORO — Single-digit temperatures and below-zero wind chill usually don’t conjure up warm thoughts of summer and Independence Day celebrations.

Yet the fuse has been lit and planning launched for what looms this year as the initial public fireworks show in Sussex County.
“We are the first!” says Kevin Turner, Chairman of the Board for the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce.

The Millsboro Chamber’s third Stars & Stripes extravaganza is set for Saturday evening, June 29.

Cupola Park bordering the Indian River is the public gathering venue for the celebration that will be capped by the pledged spectacular fireworks staged again under professional supervision of Bridgeville-based Brothers Pyro.

Fireworks explode over Millsboro Pond, creating a cascading reflection in the Indian River at last year’s Stars & Stripes celebration. Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe

As in the previous two years, fireworks will be launched from pontoon-like crafts in Millsboro Pond.

The pre-fireworks event at Cupola park starts at 6 p.m. It will feature entertainment, food vendors and craft/business vendors.

“We’re seeking sponsorships. We’re seeking food vendors,” said Mr. Turner.

Space is limited for food vendors and craft/business vendors.

“It’s a first come, first served,” said Mr. Turner. “If you want to be a food vendor there, get in it now, because we’re going to limit it to maybe seven. We will have several food vendors, but it is limited. And I want to keep it diverse.”

There is nominal vendor fee. Contact the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce office at 934-6777 for fee information and application.

Stars & Stripes’ entertainment component is “still in the works,” said Mr. Turner.

Noteworthy sponsors thus far include Sussex County Council, Dagsboro Paint & Wallpaper and Daisey’s Well Drilling.

Last year’s fireworks staged by Brothers Pyro drew thousands to Cupola Park and rave reviews on social media waves. Some labeled the Chamber’s show as the best ever or at least the best in a very long time.

“We doubled the attendance in 2018 from 2017, just shy of 3,000 park attendees just at the park alone,” said Mr. Turner, noting the tally doesn’t count the droves of people who were stationed throughout the streets of the town.

“We hope to continue that trend. We want people to come from all over, to see the potentials of Millsboro and what it has to offer,” said Mr. Turner.

If there’s inclement weather June 29, the show will be held the next night, Sunday, June 30. A total washout of that weekend will push the Stars & Stripes to a Labor Day weekend date, Mr. Turner said.

Meanwhile, there is a clearance sale on Stars & Stripes T-shirts as well as a mega 50/50 raffle leading up to the drawing at the fireworks show.

Water-going spectators anchor at a vantage point south of the John J. Williams Highway Bridge to view the 2018 Stars & Stripes fireworks show.

“50/50 participants don’t have to present to ‘win’ during the drawing, but it helps by being there. The raffle tickets will be $1 per ticket or buy four get one free. Tickets will be sold starting sometime in late February,” said Mr. Turner. “The odds are better than the Powerball lottery, but remember, you’ve gotta play to win!”

The 50/50 winner last year pocketed close to $700 cash.

Event T-shirts have been lowered to $5 apiece, and all proceeds go toward expenses incurred for the event. Shirts can be purchased and picked up at the GMCC office (102 Washington St., Suite 6) during regular office hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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