Oak Bluffs police heighten security for Illumination Night and fireworks

Illumination Night, photographed here in 2013, draws large crowds. — Susie Safford

Oak Bluffs Police plan to tighten security for Illumination Night tonight, August 20, and the Ocean Park fireworks two days later this Friday. Added measures will include limited access points, searches of backpacks, coolers, and bags, strict traffic and parking bans, and more police officers.

Illumination Night begins at 8 pm, Wednesday. The fireworks display begins at 9 pm, Friday. Rain dates for each are 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 Ave., off of Dukes County Ave. Arrive early or expect delays, officials said.

All of Ocean Ave. will be closed to traffic at 3 pm for the fireworks. Seaview Ave., from Lake Ave. to Samoset Ave., 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.

Evening SSA ferries and the New Bedford fast ferry will be re-routed to the Vineyard Haven terminal. The 3 pm pm New York fast ferry to Oak Bluffs will arrive in Vineyard Haven at 8:30 pm. 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 and Tuckernuck Aves., at the Seaview Condominiums. The Vineyard Haven shuttle stop will be at the corner of Lake Ave. and Dukes County Ave.