MILLSBORO — Early birds began filing into Cupola Park Saturday afternoon, several hours before the community celebration that culminated with the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce’s Stars & Stripes IV fireworks show.
Among the early arrivals were Joyce Snead, her granddaughter Brianna Snead and her great-grandson Papi Maull, all from Harbeson/Millsboro.
“Every time I find out Millsboro is having a nice parade or some kind of event, I try to be there,” said Joyce Snead. “I know the last time I was here for fireworks I enjoyed myself so much. It’s nice. You come here, you sit, you meet people. You find some nice people you can meet.”
They had an unobstructed vantage point to view fireworks display by Brothers Pyro LLC explode over Millsboro Pond.
“I don’t want anybody in my way,” Joyce Snead said with a chuckle. “I am but 4 feet, 11. What am I going to see?”
Cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Chamber’s signature event returned in full force, with music by DJ Brian K. Hall, food vendors, non-profits and other organizations setting up camp in Cupola Park.
Typically, the Millsboro Chamber’s event is the first major public fireworks show for the Independence Day season. Based on audience “oooo’s” and “aaaah’s” and applause, the pyrotechnic show was a success.
The town of Millsboro, a top-level Firecracker sponsor with Mountaire Farms and WSFS Bank, offered support with public works and police presence.
“The planning starts months in advance. We have several meetings with the Chamber. It’s been two years on hold because restrictions with COVID. We’re excited,” said Millsboro Town Manager Jamie Burk. “Public works put in a ton of effort along with the police department to make sure that we have a good plan, that we have a traffic plan.”
Sussex County Emergency Operations Center’s mobile command center set up on site in the park and there was a noticeable presence from the state Department of Transportation.
“It’s a multi-agency approach to this to make sure it goes without a hitch, to make sure everybody is safe and has a great time,” Mr. Burk said.
In the hours leading up to the event, Cupola Park grounds were checked by Delaware State Police Cpl. Tyler Botchie and his sniffing K-9 partner, Viper.
WSFS Bank, whose call letters spell out “We Stand For Service,” put their motto to work, assisting the Chamber and its executive director Jill McEwen in litter/trash pickup detail.
“We’re just all about community. We are a community bank,” said Matthew Sellers, WSFS’s VP Retail Office Manager/Millsboro. “We’re here to support all the communities that we are in. All the branches participate in activities to reach out to the community and really build those relationships. That’s what we are about.”
In addition to the Firecracker level sponsors, the Greater Millsboro Chamber’s 2022 event was supported financially by Sussex County Council; Jack Lingo, Inc., Realtor; Daisey Well Drilling; Parker Block Company; First Class HVAC; Valvoline Instant Oil Change; BenchMark PT; Gunshooter Enterprises; M&T Bank; Fulton Bank; Custom Mechanical; Stockley Materials; AirBase Carpet Mart; Invisible Fence Brand; Grotto Pizza; Cadia Rehabilitation; Avery Hall Insurance Group; Corrado Construction Company; Tidemark FCU; First Shore Federal; Farmers Bank of Willards, Dagsboro Paint & Wallpaper and PNC Bank.