Oak Bluffs police heighten security for Illumination Night and fireworks

— File photo by Ralph Stewart

Oak Bluffs Police plan to tighten security for Illumination Night and the Ocean Park fireworks next week. Added measures will include limited access points, searches of backpacks, coolers, and bags, strict traffic and parking bans, and more police officers.

“With the recent events at the Boston Marathon and the recent rise in the threat level,” Oak Bluffs Police said in a press release, “it is essential for public safety officials to plan for and address certain safety concerns at events which attract large numbers of spectators.”

Illumination Night begins at 8 pm, Wednesday. The fireworks display begins at 9 pm, Friday. Rain dates are each on the following nights. Police said there will be several areas in town where parking will be banned 72 hours in advance of both events. Violators will be ticketed and towed.

On Illumination Night, parking will be available at Sunset Park, with access from Greenleaf Avenue, off of Dukes County Avenue.

On Friday, all of Ocean Avenue. will be closed to traffic at 3 pm for the fireworks. Seaview Avenue.from Lake Avenue to Samoset Avenue will be closed at 4 pm. There will be parking at Sunset and Waban Parks. Handicap parking will be available at the Steamship Authority staging area and around the Civil War monument.

The 8:15 pm SSA ferry and the New Bedford fast ferry will be re-routed to the Vineyard Haven terminal. The 10:30 pm New York fast ferry to Oak Bluffs will not change. Expect delays. Choosing a pickup location out of the downtown area is recommended.

Shuttle bus service from Edgartown will be at the corner of Seaview Avenue and Tuckernuck Avenue, at the Seaview Condominiums. The Vineyard Haven shuttle stop will be at the corner of Lake Avenue and Dukes County Avenue.

Logistical Information:

Dates and Times:

Illumination Night- Wednesday August 14th 8:00pm-11:00pm

Fireworks Night- Friday August 16th Show begins at 9:00pm

Rain Dates: Illumination Night- Thursday August 15th

Fireworks Night- Saturday August 17th

Location: Illumination Night- Martha’s Vineyard Camp meeting Association

Fireworks- Ocean Park

Road Closures: Illumination Night- None

Fireworks Night- All of Ocean Ave. will be closed to traffic at 3:00pm

Seaview Ave from Lake Ave. to Samoset Ave. will be closed to traffic at 4:00 pm.

General Parking: Illumination Night- Sunset Park Lot, access from Greenleaf Ave. off Dukes County Ave.

Fireworks Night- Sunset Park and Waban Park, access from Naushon Ave. Parking is $10 and proceeds go to fund the fireworks show.

Handicap Parking: Illumination Night- No additional added

Fireworks Night- SSA Staging Area and around Civil War Monument.

Ferry Arrivals: Illumination Night- No interruption in ferry service

Fireworks Night- 8:15 pm SSA ferry re-routed to VH Terminal 7:30 New Bedford fast ferry re-routed to VH terminal.

10:30 pm New York fast ferry arrival on schedule. If you are planning on picking up passengers expect delays or choose alternate pick up location out of down town area.

Shuttle Bus Stops: Illumination Night- No changes

Fireworks Night- Edgartown Shuttle stop, Corner of Seaview Ave and Tuckernuck Ave. (at Seaview Condominiums) Vineyard Haven Shuttle stop will be at corner of Lake Ave. and Dukes County Ave.

Parking Bans: There will be several areas throughout town which will be posted, “No Parking” 72 hours in advance of both events. Violators will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.