Oak Bluffs cancels August fireworks again

The Oak Bluffs fireworks have been canceled for the second year in a row.

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.”


  1. These are people who dont want the pandemic to go away. Do they not think that by August most people in the USA and especially on MV will be vaccinated? Do they not think we will have herd immunity? I await the irrepressible Don Keller to tell me there is a smidgeon of a chance someone somewhere somehow will catch the virus if we have fireworks. People are increasingly (not on MV) laughing at Fauciism and ignoring the conventional wisdom which has been wrong so many times.

    • There are other mitigating factors, which you would know if you had actually read the entire article and not just the headline. (I’ll help: “”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.”)

      The OB fireworks is one of my favorite events; I will miss them again this year. I’m also cognizant that businesses and non-profits on the island have a difficult row to hoe this year, especially concerning staffing and the impact 2020 had on their budgets.

  2. I certainly hope Mr. Engelman has taken the opportunity to obtain a vaccination, or will do so shortly. I think that the Darwin principle might well be relevant – that eventually people who will not vaccinate will be the only ones who are infected with Covid, and that those of us who eagerly got in line, so to speak, will not be infected. I don’t know where the “people [who] are increasingly laughing at” Dr. Fauci live; they’re not on my FB feed. Seems pretty clear this decision about the fireworks was fueled by lack of money and lack of personnel, also pre-planning time; at least that’s the way I read the article.

  3. The case for canceling this event now, as set forth in this article, is less than compelling to say the least. Everyone in the U.S. who wants to be vaccinated is highly likely to be able to a couple of months before the 3rd week of August.

    • We have no real idea of what the case counts will be come August.
      We have no idea how effective the existing vaccines will be against the evolved variants of Covid – 19.
      If 98% were vaccinated by May 15 then the 3rd week in August might well be viable.
      The unvaccinated will assist in the evolution of variants.
      Oddly enough, as a demographic, it is the police and fire that are most likely to not take the vaccine.

  4. Another disappointment, what’s new? Sounds like it’s cancelled due to a lack of enthusiasm to do what’s necessary to plan for the event. It’s been held for years; but at a time when citizens could use the lift in spirits the event could provide – the planners don’t care enough to make it happen. It’s not cancelled because of Pandemic. Making the required reservations, signage and clean-up were too overwhelming to undertake. Sad. Glad no one is counting on this group to be the greatest generation. The community and visitors will all be disappointed but thank you for the tireless efforts you made to not let anyone down.

  5. I really think that it crosses a line to say that the OB Firefighters, active and retired, are not the “greatest generation” over fireworks. The Civic Association volunteers their time and money for things like the fireworks, and it’s disappointing to miss them- but if your house is burning, they’re going to risk their lives to save you. That’s great enough for me in any generation. Don’t disrespect them over not volunteering to throw a great party.

    Do people understand that the vaccines greatly lower your risk of catching Covid, but not to zero? You can still catch it if you are exposed to enough viral load. Have you seen the number of cases shooting up with new, more contagious variants even as many are vaccinated? We don’t know what the summer will bring. I love the fireworks but I can think of few more crowded occasions on island in the summer. Any very crowded event is still going to be more risky this summer. I’m fully vaccinated and I wouldn’t go this year. I think that the OB firefighters made a prudent decision.

    • Well for a nation that supposedly is ” following the science ” this is a gross exaggeration. Why did you even get vaccinated? Its 100% effective for severe illness and death. Isnt that enough?

      • the only people who think “faucism”, as you called it, is some sort of political shun on republicans, are people who cant seem to understand or even begin to comprehend the science. It is not perfect, but Dr Fauci, incorrect or differing in certain opinions is common place science. Its ignorant to shun it because “you know better.” Never in life would you say that about another profession that takes years and years to become an expert.

  6. The EDGARTOWN FIREMANS BALL was the party of the summer in days gone by.firemen went house to house on Chappy and all around town in a fire truck usually at coctail time selling tickets..sirens wailing & lights blinking…WOW… EDGARTOWN YACHT CLUB donated their TENNIS CLUB and theRALPH STEWART ORCHESTRA..8to 80..inside and outside glad I was there POLIO was in minds and bodies in those days ..I HOPE THE FIREWORKS CAN LIVE ON IN OAK BLUFFS..save the space in front of the RITZ !!! on you go,,,

  7. I too love the fireworks but support the Firemen’s decision to follow the scientific guidelines which are geared to prevent the surge in Covid cases that so often follow large gatherings. Variant strains of this virus have proven to be much more contagious and more deadly than the original virus and no vaccine is 100% effective. Many are refusing to be vaccinated which makes herd immunity unlikely and even those vaccinated, and who have no symptoms, can shed the virus if they have been in contact with someone who tests positive. We’ve already seen spikes of positivity traced to much smaller gatherings. Is it not worth giving up a “party” if even one life can be saved (maybe someone in your family)? Our medical facilities can so easily be overwhelmed and our hopes that this pandemic can be under control before another calendar year requires our vigilance and some sacrifice before we even near what we could consider “normalcy”.

  8. I guess it’s time for me to get in here with a few “irresponsible” comments.
    Let me first ask the “responsible” Andrew Engelman who “these people ” are that don’t want the pandemic to end ? You have been running you mouth about that for months, Andrew–
    EVERYONE wants the pandemic to end .
    It is not “irresponsible” to listen to the medical community, the scientist and legally elected authorities who advise us how to stay alive.
    It is not “irresponsible” to take responsibility for not only one’s own personal health but to do the best you can to insure you will not infect someone else. —
    It is not “irresponsible” to speak truth about the facts.
    I want the pandemic to end, Andrew, but I do not declare it “over” when nearly one thousand Americans ( hmmmm– where have I heard that number before ? ) are dying every single day. Yes, Andrew, you want it to end also, but you don’t care about the numbers– You , like the bloated orange man baby just declare it “over” (your word) because you want it to be over.
    Does that somehow equate to me being irresponsible and not wanting it to end because I can comprehend facts and see that it is clearly not over ?
    It is not “irresponsible” to pay debts that you acquire, even if the reason you acquire them is through your own foolishness, by the way….

    Have you forgotten, Andrew, that the bloated orange man baby , and Sean (the human thumb) Hannity told their cult followers that we would not hear a word about the pandemic after the election,as it was all a hoax by “those people” to get trump out of office ? Did you forget that the liar in chief lost the election by “historic margins” ? It seems the right wing hate monger’s heads have exploded and the putrid pile of feces that has been festering inside of their thick skulls is now on public display. The first comment on this thread cannot present a clearer example.
    I guess in your world , I am, in “alternative fact”, irresponsible.
    And just for the record— there is a smidgeon of a chance someone somewhere somehow will catch the virus if we have fireworks.
    After all, it is estimated that about 25 % of the general population will refuse to get the vaccine.
    The Flying Spaghetti monster has not proclaimed HE will protect anyone form this– so we are all on our own..
    Get vaccinated so we can have the fireworks next year.

  9. I don’t see the letters “Dr.” in front of Mr Engleman’s name, so I have to assume he isn’t qualified to make any medical decisions when discussing Covid as it relates to Vineyard summer activities and cancellations of these various events. Sure, we would love to see things go back to what used to be normal, but as of today there have been 560,000 deaths (and the total continues to rise!!!). Wouldn’t it be better to follow the science and listen to Dr. Fauci who is just as anxious to get Covid behind us? Think it over… it’s better to be safe and well, and miss an hours worth of fireworks than to participate in what could turn out to be a “ super spreader” event, possibly affecting your family or friends!

  10. The ubiquitous Mr Fauci doesnt want it to end. He is vaccinated, many of us are vaccinated, Biden is vaccinated and wears his mask for show. The vaccine either works or it doesnt work but we continue to hear its not a guarantee. We stopped the J and J due to 6 blod clots out of 7 million vaccinations. Craziness. You want guarantees you will never get them. Continue to spread the false narrative about exceptions and vaccinated people still spreading. When 80 percent are vaccinated we will still hear this mantra that it is not enough. You folks are going to continue this into next year. Yes there are deaths but the worst is behind us. Keller doesnt want one Covid death and he doesnt know if its a death from covid or with covid. Normal people want to get on with their lives and are ignoring Fauciism and his flip flops. He loves the limelight. This is being extended in order to spend money and buy votes and bail out mismanged states.

    • Again, Engelman is spreading misinformation about Covid. President Biden wears a mask in public because vaccinated people can still transmit covid. Dismissing the guidelines and ridiculing them is allowed in our democracy, and so is pointing out that the people doing so are intentionally untruthful. If you fail to keep up with guidelines, when you receive your vaccines, the person giving you your shot reminds you of the CDC recommendation that you still wear your mask in public. The reasoning is common sense. The variants may be resistant to the vaccines as well, so informed people who care about themselves and their neighbors still wear their mask in public after vaccination. There are also breakthrough cases among the vaccinated since the protection level is not 100%. The UK variant is here and the hospital is testing for the variant devastating Brazil. These variants are more contagious and more deadly. And no, Engelman, being informed does not equate to wanting the pandemic to continue.
      Engelman’s ongoing paranoia about all these people who want the pandemic to continue is remarkably pathetic. But it’s unoriginal. Rep. Jim Jordan’s rants against Dr Fauci and all the common sense guidelines beat even Engelman’s, but Jordan’s insanity is all we can expect now from what’s left of conservatives. 45% of Republicans say they will not get the vaccine, but even these ignorant, selfish people don’t want the pandemic to continue. They simply can’t grasp that they were conned for years by twice impeached, one term, twice-lost-the-popular-vote, lost-both-the- House-and-Senate Trump and his loser sycophants. This was the religious right’s privileged white idea of a “chosen one”.

      People who love this island and the people on it, regardless of politics, would never carry on with ugly untruths and unfounded accusations about why the fireworks were canceled again, let alone push an agenda that denies and ridicules our safety guidelines.

  11. Engelman is, as usual, flat-out wrong. The last time he claimed there were people (“they”) who wanted “cases, cases, cases” he was referring to Democrats. Now it’s the OB Firemen’s Civic Assoc that doesn’t want the pandemic to end. How ridiculous. But how untruthful can one be about science? In a comment a few days ago under an article about the alarming numbers of new cases, Engelman said this:

    “ANDREW ENGELMAN April 12, 2021 At 5:39 pm 
”Fauciism”is a new word meaning expert induced panic similar to McCarthyism for anti communist hysteria. Now he is telling us vaccinated people shouldnt eat indoors The highest paid government employee in the US and still shifting the goal posts…”.

    Engelman not only made up his own but incorrect definition of the word, “Fauci-ism,” he said something again blatantly false– and the moderator allowed it. Dr Fauci has never said vaccinated people should not eat indoors. Never even suggested that. No goal posts shifted. Dr Fauci talks about risk aversion and personal choice for all people, but frequently points out that the risk for indoor dining among vaccinated is extremely low. The doctor has been asked several time what he would do now that he is fully vaccinated. His answer is always the same. He doesn’t eat in restaurants because his scheduled doesn’t allow him the time, but he repeats how low the risk is for those who are vaccinated. What is the purpose of Engelman’s repeatedly spreading misinformation and untruths about Covid and this country’s leading expert immunologist on the subject? Why does the Times allow it? The agenda of religious right cultists can be obvious. I’m just wondering about a newspaper that made this claim:

    “Our policy of not allowing comments that dispute the existence of climate change and sea level rise, or who attempt to spread misinformation about COVID-19, remains in place. Established science is not debatable or helpful for an Island looking at its future survival.”
    ~MV Times

    • Ms Diez I will follow the science when you tell me that a grown man cant go in to ladies rest rooms or a boy cant compete against girls track competitions because he thinks he is a girl. Established science is now whatever you want it to be since we are all living with lies all around us. When most of us are vaccinated and herd immunity is established, some of you will trot out the tired old mantra of variants and 100 percent guarantees and minute chances of transmission. The so called science and the experts have been wrong since day one and normal people know it and get on with their lives instead of cringing in fear from Fauci. We wore masks for one year until the vaccine arrived but it still aint enough for the fearful.

      • There is nothing scientific about having men and women use gender specific bathrooms.

        Covid – 19 isn’t over.

        Cases are per day have been going up for a month, we are now at 766,000 per day (28,000,000 per year rate.)

        Hospitalizations per day have been going up for a month, we are now at 5511 per day (2,000,000 per year rate.)

        Deaths per day have been going up for a week, we are now at 901 per day (329,000 per year rate).

        How many are too many? Was it wrong to call for masks and social distancing from the get go? What are your ‘scientific’ numbers for taking actions against the spread of Covid – 19?
        The antivaxxers are doing a great job at allowing Covid – 19 fertile fields in which to mutate.

      • Engelman wants to rant about toilets when discussing the cancellation of the OB fireworks this year. Talk about fearful!

      • Ranting about Fauci is the new battle cry of the failed Republican party, even if the subject is fireworks in OB. Engelman couldn’t be less original if he tried. Who else are Republicans going to blame for their self-destructive belief in Trump?


        Ranting about toilets is another kettle of fish, and it is indicative of how fearful “religious” conservatives really are, especially about basic bodily functions and gender. It’s no wonder the raving maniacs like Lin Wood rant about how Obama, the Clintons, the Bush family are all sex-traffickers. Then there’s MTG. Fear of toilets and fear and confusion about sex about wrap up the failed Republican party these days, especially those professing their religion and “Anglo Saxons First” privilege, lol. But they carry on about Dr Fauci and think no one notices how ridiculous those rants are. The problem with politicizing the pandemic is that it leaves many of these confused, angry people refusing and denying the urgency of using masks and getting vaccinated.

  12. Mr Keller I used the word ”irrepressible” not ”irresponsible” ”’elected scientists who tell us how to keep us alive” is laughable as is your unconstrained rant on Trump.

    • I actually addressed that a while ago, but it seems it didn’t post. Perhaps because I was once again quoting scripture to you about lying.
      Proverbs 12:22 for instance.
      I also agree with Jackie– why does George let you get away with blatant lies and misinformation ? I’ll just use your comment to me here as an example of a lie–you quote me as saying “elected scientists who tell us how to keep us alive” that is a lie— I said ” legally elected authorities who advise us how to stay alive.” You don’t seem to be able to write a single paragraph without lying. Your constant lies are disturbing to honest citizens.
      That’s why we threw trump into the ash bin of history.

      AND– YOU lecture the honest people here about spreading fear ???? REALLY ?
      You would all have us pee in our pants for fear of a transgendered person winding up in the appropriate bathroom. And what would you have us think about the dangers of a couple of starving and scared children at our southern border ?
      And as far as irresponsible– I stand by my comments.
      To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen — andrew, I know responsible…

      • Mr Keller and Ms Diez who make illogical juxtapositions and use obfuscated rants to change the subject. You both have told us to ”follow the science” and I simply mentioned X and Y chromosomes which is the science of male and female while you pursue the transgender folly. Be consistent in following the science and i might also when you do. You locked us all down to follow the science but when it became expedient to riot ( sorry–peacefully protest) not a word of admonition about covid spreads in large gatherings. Now you have Maxine Waters telling the people to stay in the streets in anticipation of a verdict she may not like and you guys crow about Trump’s insurrection. Oh Waters is different, I get it.

        • At least you know that the domestic terrorism against the Capitol and our sacred and smooth transition of power was due to Trump’s Big Lie and inciting those idiot, white thugs. Yes, Trump’s Insurrection will go down in history as Trump’s doing. Doesn’t matter who “crows” about it. Even the extreme right religious cultists call it by its name: Trump’s Insurrection.

          But not sure why “simply” bringing up toilets and gender in a discussion about OB fireworks undoes the spreading of your lies and misinformation about covid.

  13. HECK…..GOLLY..DONT GIVE UP ON THE FIRE DEPARTMENT DARN IT ….SHUCKS WE CAN WAIT stay on the subject..darn it……………..bla-bla-bla..

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