Harbor View Hotel will host New Year’s fireworks in Edgartown

— File photo by Ralph Stewart

The Harbor View Hotel will ring in the New Year on Martha’s Vineyard with a fireworks celebration over Edgartown Harbor at midnight on December 31.

Harbor View officials presented the plan to Edgartown selectmen and town officials at the selectmen’s weekly Monday meeting.

Selectmen voted unanimously to issue a fireworks permit. “We’re going to have fireworks,” chairman Art Smadbeck said, obviously pleased with the news.

“It was an idea the whole team had, to try to drive some business onto the Island, and the community as a whole,” Jim Cleary, general manager of the hotel told selectmen.

Selectmen expressed some concerns about the midnight schedule, including any extra burden it might place on public safety personnel. Town officials said they have already begun to coordinate fire safety and police patrols for the evening.

“It’s not an issue for us, because we already have extra officers on that night for New Year’s Eve,” police chief Tony Bettencourt said. “If this was any other time of the year, it would be an issue. We’re prepared for it.”

Fire chief Peter Shemeth said he plans to have fire equipment and personnel on duty. Harbormaster Charlie Blair said he will help with boat patrols around the fireworks barge moored near Edgartown Light.

Mr. Cleary said the hotel had already exceeded it’s preliminary budget for the event. He asked that some part of the $1,500 permit fee be used to defray the cost to the hotel to hire fire department details.

“I certainly support the idea,” selectman Michael Donaroma said. “You might get a lot of help, the board of trade might help. I’d like to give it a try, but you will have to handle the expenses.”

There will be no back-up date in case of inclement weather. Organizers will make any decision to cancel the event by 8 am on December 30.