Bethany Fireworks Approved and Changed Entertainment Programming Announced | Bethany Beach
After initially canceling all special events and entertainment offers until mid-June, with re-evaluation plans on June 1, Bethany Beach officials announced this week that – although some early-season favorites, such as the Poseidon Festival and the Seaside Craft Show, have been postponed until next year – most of the regular entertainment events are still scheduled to take place this summer, and the 4th of July fireworks have officially kicked off.
Governor John Carney 29e The state’s pandemic emergency declaration amendment, released last week, reduces restrictions on large gatherings, indoors and outdoors. Large events have always been subject to state approval processes and references to larger outdoor gatherings in the 29e The changes say the Public Health Division will develop a column to determine whether an outdoor gathering of more than 250 people will require masks.
City manager Cliff Graviet told Coastal Point on Tuesday May 18 that the city has asked the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services to approve a plan to host the craft fair on the boardwalk. on June 5, and the city had received approval, officials confirmed on Wednesday, May 19.
However, they announced on Wednesday that the Seaside Craft Show had nonetheless been canceled for 2021. Events coordinator Julie Malewski said organizers felt there were too many last-minute tasks to put on a craft show. successful in such a short time.
City council had also previously approved a contract with a fireworks supplier for the July 4, 2021 fireworks display, with Graviet warning that the circumstances may necessitate the cancellation of the July 4 events this year, in which case the fire d he contracted artifice would be canceled again this year. be postponed, possibly for Labor Day weekend or New Years holidays.
Graviet said on Tuesday that the city had also asked DHHS to approve the fireworks display to be held on July 5 at 9:15 p.m., as originally scheduled. Malewski confirmed on Wednesday that the July 4 fireworks display was “underway,” although the annual parade – which takes considerable time to organize and book attendees – has been canceled for 2021.
This also includes the town’s bandstand shows and Movies on the Beach events, which are now slated to begin on June 10. Graviet said on Tuesday that the city is asking DHSS to approve them as well, but with a slightly different timeline than usual.
“With the exception of the week of July 4, we only do one bandstand show per week, on Thursdays; but we now have band stands on Saturdays in September and October, ”he said of a lighter but longer season. “In addition, we shoot films on Mondays in the summer and on Fridays in September. Less in season, more out of season, ”he explained.
(A full review of the City’s revised 2021 summer entertainment schedule can be found on the Coastal Point website.)
The mandate of the city mask will be discussed on May 21
Last year, Bethany Beach implemented a requirement for people to wear protective masks on the promenade and in the town center, and asking beach goers to wear masks when entering or leaving the beach, or where overcrowding limited the ability to observe 6 feet of social distance.
With the governor lifting statewide mask warrants effective May 21, under revised guidance from the CDC, the city’s mask mandate is under discussion at the city council meeting scheduled for May 21. (Under the revised state ordinance, masks remain mandatory statewide on public transport and on airplanes, as well as in schools, health facilities, and assembly places, such as homeless prisons and shelters, as well as state-owned buildings and facilities.)
“The city council will consider the 21st how he wants to proceed with the masks, ”said Graviet. “I hope the Council follows the latest CDC guidelines and follows the state’s latest declaration of emergency regarding mask compliance.”
One place where visitors and residents can expect mask warrants to remain in effect is the city streetcar.
“The CDC and the state are demanding masks on public transport,” Graviet said. “We will comply with this requirement.”
The cart fare remains 25 cents each way. (The cart can now be tracked online, at https://portal.gpsinsight.com/d/publicmap.php?key=gpsi58ff5a953a2d9, to give passengers an idea of what time it should be in. their region. The truck’s service area is highlighted on the map, with the truck stops also marked.)
Some parking rules change from 2020, others remain
The paid parking season began on May 15 at Bethany Beach, with some changes, as circumstances begin to normalize against last year’s special pandemic rules.
While some additional areas of the city were restricted to resident-only parking last year – including street lots at the beach – to control overcrowding on the beach and promenade, the City has chosen to expand the ‘Parking access for 2021. Land adjacent to the beach is chargeable and residential this year, Graviet said. “Other than that, everything is like in the past.”
The addition of 15-minute downtown parking was another change for the 2020 pandemic circumstances, providing downtown restaurants and stores with a place where customers could park briefly so they could get to a takeout order or have a curbside pickup order dropped off at their car. , and helping to ensure that these customers can find a parking space for this kind of short stopover.
Graviet previously said that city staff asked downtown business owners about the 15-minute parking spots, after a petition was circulated with the position that having the 15-minute spots ” was not in the best interests of business ”.
“As long as there are restrictions on the number of people who can enter their restaurants,” he said of downtown business owners, “they believe the 15-minute parking is vital for the existence of their businesses. “
This week, he confirmed the plan was to keep the 15-minute spaces, at least for now.
“We’re going to keep 15 minutes of parking for this summer, and then we’ll reassess,” he said.
Parking fees remain at $ 2.50 per hour for the 2021 summer season, with the City accepting parking fees paid through the ParkMobile app or through parking terminals scattered around paid parking lots.
The city intended to hire more staff for this summer
Graviet had previously said he hoped to have more staff than usual hired for the summer of 2021, citing the high number of visitors expected as pandemic restrictions relax as people seek vacations after staying at home for much of the past year and more and more people are getting vaccinated. . The application of masks, along with the usual needs of lifeguards, police, code enforcement and parking (but with probably more people in town) were a key factor in this goal.
This week, Graviet said the city had not been able to hire the entire expanded contingent he hoped to hire, but felt the need to overhire was not as vital as expected at the origin.
“We were able to hire 14 seasonal police officers, instead of the 17 we hoped to hire,” he said. “Lifeguards are staffed, beach ambassadors and parking staff. Public works understaffed. We wanted to recruit police and code enforcement personnel due to previous COVID-19 restrictions. The sudden relaxation of restrictions made this much less critical, ”Graviet said.
City ready to answer questions as the season begins
With a new official restriction on the digging of large holes on the beach for the summer of 2021, Graviet said the city had required “no enforcement of any kind at this time regarding oversized holes on the beach”.
The new ordinance limits holes dug on the beach to no more than 1 foot deep and 2 feet in diameter. This is a formalization of the existing “Do not dig large holes in the sand” beach rule, and one of the few non-pandemic changes in the city since the summer of 2019.
Graviet said he expects visitors to have more questions than usual about how things are working in the city this summer, after a very unusual summer 2020, and the city is ready to deal with that. .
“We have reopened the downtown information booth, staffed with municipal staff, to answer any questions people might have as a result of the changes we have experienced over the past year and a half,” said he declared. “We have added additional Beach Ambassadors to the Beach and Boardwalk,” he added.