Millsboro Chamber’s Stars & Stripes explodes with success

MILLSBORO – Shortly after 9 o’clock Saturday night as dusk settled in over Delmarva, the first pyrotechnic flash and boom exploded over Millsboro Pond – much to the delight of thousands of Stars & Stripes spectators.

On what will likely be one of the hottest days of 2018, Millsboro and Cupola Park was the hotbed to be for those who enjoy music, entertainment, food and craft vendors and spectacular fireworks.

By initial Facebook accounts, the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce’s second Stars & Stripes II was a smash hit, surpassing last year’s inaugural event that had drawn rave reviews.

A Sunday morning social media reaction sampling:

“What a nice celebration!”

“It was one of best I have seen in a while.”

“Beautiful fireworks.”

“It was an awesome fireworks show.”

“Millsboro Police are the best!”

“This is a celebration in Millsboro – for the area. We are the first fireworks in the area,” said Kevin turner, president of the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce. “Many people have said that last year’s show was better than Rehoboth’s show.”

An hour before showtime, Cupola Park was basically packed.

“We’ve easily exceeded last year’s numbers,” said Mr. Turner. “There has been a lot of buzz about this. Facebook was slamming, just slamming, with responses and ‘shares.’ Many happy people have said they were here last year and they want to come again. They tagged people … ‘Are you going?’ It just exploded.”

Spectators traveled from near and far.

Besides scenic and spacious Cupola Park, people viewed the fireworks show from numerous other vantage points around town: John J. Williams Bridge, street corners, backyards, second-floor balconies and even on pontoon boats and watercraft on the Indian River.

Michael Cobo and family live within walking distance of Cupola Park.

“I’m glad they are doing this in Millsboro,” said Mr. Cobo. “This way, I don’t have to travel over to the beach. It is here, right here in Millsboro.”

Stars & Stripes, launched in 2017, is the Millsboro chamber’s major signature annual event. Planning gets under way in earnest in January, Mr. Turner said.

The cost of the professionally-staged fireworks show runs in the $30,000 ballpark. It is staged with community and business support and the town of Millsboro, which in both years kick-started the massive fundraising campaign with $10,000 contributions.

The town also provided mobile, lighted, air-conditioned restrooms to augment permanent facilities at the park.

The list of financial sponsors included Mountaire Farms, Chuck Hall State Farm, Jack Lingo Realtor, Sussex County Council, Peninsula Dental, Daisey’s Well Drilling, Southern Delaware Tourism, Silicato Development, Dagsboro Paint & Wallpaper, Suburban Propane, Weis Market, McDonalds/Meoli Corporation, Avery Hall Insurance, Fulton Bank, Bank of Delmarva, Farmers Bank of Willards, M & T Bank, WSFS, Stockley Materials, PNC Bank and Invisible Fence.

One of the Millsboro chamber’s ongoing fundraisers – a mega-raffle – concluded with the drawing just before the fireworks. The winner went home with $621 in cash.

Following a three-hour celebration at the park, fireworks were set off from pontoon-type barges in Millsboro Pond, just north of the John J. Williams Highway Bridge.

Food vendor options also included Messy Marv’s BBQ Shack, Hot Dogs at the Beach, Georgio’s Water Ice, The French Fry Guy and White & Associates Treats.

Counting food, craft and area businesses, there were 22 vendors on the park grounds.

DJ Messy Marv pulled double duty. He provided disc jockey entertainment and patriotic music during the fireworks.

Members of the New Dimensions Family Ministries of Millsboro were back, offering face painting.

With such a large gathering, public safety was paramount.

Millsboro Police Department personnel on bicycles, in vehicles or staged at strategic locations patrolled the area with a traffic/parking plan greatly enhanced from the first year.

“The whole force is either here or within town,” said Mr. Turner. “With traffic concerns before and after the event, the police did their homework from last year. They nailed it. They just nailed it. Like I said before, they are awesome to work with. They want the best interest of this event and the town. We’re on all cylinders right now.”

Millsboro police were also on community outreach duty. At their booth, police offered free bicycle and skateboard helmets, coloring books and gun locks.

Sussex County’s massive mobile command unit was on the park grounds, providing a birds-eye view.

“Of course, with public safety, that camera up there has got a scope of the whole park,” said Mr. Turner.

And if you missed it …

For those unable to witness the fireworks, Millsboro Police department employed a drone to capture the entire show. It should be accessible sometime soon online and social media.

Thanks from the Greater Millsboro Chamber

Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce offered thanks to all who helped make Stars & Stripes II a huge success. To view the chamber’s Facebook post, click here.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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