The Oak Bluffs fireworks, which are held in August, have been canceled for the second year in a row.
The event, put on by the Oak Bluffs Firemen’s Civic Association, was set to be the 45th celebration, but association president James Moreis Jr. told The Times the uncertainty of the pandemic, lack of personnel, and financial issues contributed to the association voting unanimously to cancel it.
“It’s a mixture of things,” Moreis said. “People think it goes up in an hour and that’s it. We have to set up, put up signage, we have to have manpower for parking; there’s a lot that goes into clean up.”
The fireworks celebration in 2020 was canceled last May in the early months of the pandemic, along with other Island summer events such as the Agricultural Fair, Taste of the Vineyard, and Beach Road Weekend.
Along with setting up and cleaning up, Moreis said, the association has to hire a hazardous boat and get permitting from the U.S. Coast Guard: “It wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s a decision that has to be made. We have to have all the reservations all in line.”
The fireworks join Beach Road Weekend as major summer events to be canceled amid the ongoing pandemic. Moreis said he’s once again looking to the year ahead: “You’ve got to have commitment, and there wasn’t much of that, that’s what the vote tells me.”