Extra security, extended parking ban for Fourth of July parade

Revelers march in the 2011 July 4th parade in Edgartown. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

Edgartown police advise people coming to the town’s annual Fourth of July parade and fireworks celebration to expect heightened security measures, and plan extra time to get to the event on Thursday.

Parking will be prohibited along the parade route beginning at 3 pm sharp on July 4th. There will be no parking for any vehicles for one block on either side of the parade route this year. Police say they will tow any vehicle parked on the parade route or within the one block perimeter, at the owner’s expense.

The parade route will be closed to traffic at 4:15 pm, 45 minutes before the start of the parade.

Bags, coolers, or personal belongings left unattended will be removed immediately.

Police have stepped up security because of concerns following the Boston Marathon bombings.

“We encourage people to arrive early,” Police Chief Tony Bettencourt said. “Road closures will be earlier than previous years, and parking is limited.”

Public safety officials urge visitors to use public transportation to avoid traffic and parking congestion.

The Vineyard Transit Authority has added extra buses for the parade and fireworks.

For the parade, buses and trolleys will pick up and drop off at the head of Cannonball Park.

For the fireworks, buses and trolleys will pick up and drop off at Church Street.

Police urge those driving to the event to use the parking lot off Dark Woods Road, near the triangle business area. Shuttle service is available to bring visitors downtown.

Main Street will reopen to traffic following the parade, but North Water Street, and the streets adjacent to it, will remain closed to traffic until after the fireworks.

For the parade, handicapped parking is available on Upper Main Street adjacent to Cannonball Park. Handicapped parking for the fireworks is available at the Dock Street lot at the foot of Main Street, beginning at 7 pm.

Selectmen have authorized extended hours for bars and restaurants from July 3 through July 6. Bars must stop serving alcohol by 1:30 am, and close by 2 am.

Police ask everyone to be vigilant, and report any suspicious activity to an officer, call the police tip line at 774-310-1190, or call 9-1-1 for emergencies.