Fireworks return to Wildwood, Seaside Heights
Fireworks will light up the skies over the Jersey Shore during the next two weeks in Seaside Heights and Wildwood.
Weather permitting, Seaside Heights' fireworks are scheduled to go off at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday night over the boardwalk, a week after being postponed by thunderstorms.
The message from Seaside Heights police chief Tommy Boyd for Wednesday night: Be on your best socially distanced behavior, and the displays will continue every Wednesday night through August "if everyone does the right thing."
"If you're social distancing you don't have to wear a mask, but you should wear a mask anyway because people feel more comfortable. We're just hoping it goes well so we can have future fireworks," Boyd told New Jersey 101.5.
The chief said the fireworks willl be visible from anywhere on the boardwalk, which will help with social distancing.
"They're going to shoot them high in the air so you don't have to be on top of everyone to see it. They're going to shoot them straight up if the wind conditions are good," Boyd said.
Boyd said his officers along with those from the Ocean County Sheriff's Office will be walking the boardwalk to encourage social distancing.
The chief said that while other beach towns have had problems with large crowds, it's been a good summer so far in Seaside Heights.
"(Gov. Phil Murphy) was in town this weekend and he was happy with what we're doing in Seaside. He was walking the boardwalk wearing his mask checking on things," Boyd said.
Boyd credited Murphy's actions during the pandemic for making the fireworks display and summer visits to Seaside Heights possible.
"We need to be open, and thank God because of the governor we are open in Seaside. You're not going to hear anything bad from me about Gov. Murphy," Boyd said.
"There's so many other states that are closed right now and everyone was putting a beating on the governor stating he's not doing the right thing," Boyd said. "Turns out the governor was doing the right thing. That's why we're still open, because of Gov. Murphy and how he looked forward to the projections of the sickness."
The fireworks should not be rained out this time, according to New Jersey 101.5 chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow.
"It looks like a beautiful summer evening! Wednesday will be a very warm day, with high temperatures near 90. Thermometers will gently fall through the 80s past sunset with mainly clear skies and dry weather in the forecast," Zarrow said.
Wildwood will fire off a display every Friday night in August, starting Aug. 7, on the Rio Grande Avenue beach. The fireworks will be visible from anywhere on the boardwalk, according to DOOWW.com.
Mayor Pete Bryon said the display will serve as a way to end the summer season on a high.
"That was something the commissioners and I discussed last week. We need things to pump up the morale around here for folks. Fireworks is a tradition in Wildwood so we just felt that if we could resurrect it now is the time to carry us through Labor Day," Byron told New Jersey 101.5.
The mayor also credited visitors this summer who he said are wearing masks and practicing social distancing on the boardwalk.
"I think people have gotten a little more used to what they need to do to practice social distancing. I've been noticing more people on the boardwalk wearing masks so I think people are being more personally responsible," Bryon said.
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