Falmouth Fireworks Committee is ready to make the final push for next week’s Fourth of July.
“This started 39 years ago, when a bunch of guys were sitting around on a cold February night when somebody said we should have fireworks, and bingo, we had fireworks,” Arthur R. Ratsy said. “I was the one that said ‘let’s have fireworks,’ and somebody said, ‘Okay, you chair the committee.’ “
Mr. Ratsy has been involved ever since, seeing the celebration grow dramatically over the years.
“We’ve gone from a show costing $5,000 to $6,000 to a show in excess of $50,000 to $60,000,” he said. “It has been estimated that we have an attendance of anywhere between 75,000 and 100,000 people. The ball field is wall-to-wall and the beach is shoulder-to-shoulder.”
Festivities will begin at 7 PM with a performance by the Cape Cod Conservatory Big Band at the Falmouth Heights field. The fireworks begin at 9 PM. For the 31st year, the Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group is producing the fireworks show.
Mr. Ratsy recommended arriving early to find a seat.
‘If you get to Falmouth Heights by the ball field, that is the place to see them,” he said. “It is going to be a really, really good show. It is a great family activity, because there is always something going on.”
The fireworks will be synced to music played on PIXY 103. The music will be played at the ball field, can be listened to on the radio at 102.9 FM or streamed online at capecodradio.com.
Once again, this year’s Falmouth fireworks T-shirt is designed by Karen Rinaldo. Ms. Rinaldo has designed the annual T-shirt for the festivities for approximately 25 years.
“This year’s theme is remembrance,” Mr. Ratsy said. “This is the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I. The design of the T-shirt shows a sillouette of a World War I soldier saluting the Nobska lighthouse and American flag.”
Written on the flag’s stripes are lyrics from “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” a patriotic march written by George M. Cohan in 1906. The shirt also takes inspiration from the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields” by incorporating poppies in its design.
The T-shirt will be available for purchase from 9 AM to 5 PM at Stop & Shop, Windfall Market and Walmart this weekend. The shirt will also be sold at Kenyon’s Market from 8 AM to 2 PM on Saturday. Adult sizes are $20, while children’s sizes cost $15.
T-shirts and hats are also available for purchase at The Gallery on Main, Cape Cod Five, Country Fare Restaurant, Rockland Trust, First Citizens Bank and the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce. The hats cost $20.
“Every penny that we raise goes to the fireworks,” Mr. Ratsy said, noting the committee is looking to raise an additional $25,000 to $30,000 to cover the cost of this year’s event.
As in years past, there will numerous road closures on July 4. Vehicle traffic will be restricted from entering the Falmouth Heights area after 6 PM. This restriction will remain in place until all spectators have safely left the area, Falmouth Police Lieutenant Douglas M. DeCosta said.
Roads to be closed include portions of Grand, Manchester, Echo, Central Park, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Nantucket and Worcester avenues.
In addition, police will introduce a temporary parking ban, including a tow away zone, starting at 4 PM on July 4. Drivers will not be allowed to park on Grand Avenue between Walden Avenue and Central Park Court and on Worcester Court between Jericho Path and Grand Avenue. Similiar to the road closures, the parking ban will remain in effect until spectators have safely left the area.
Parking is available at the municipal parking lot by Peg Noonan Park on Main Street, the Mullen-Hall Elementary School, the Lawrence School and Teaticket Elementary School. Handicap parking is available at the Bristol Beach and Surf Drive Beach parking lots.
“Our event plan begins with a large police presence in the Falmouth Heights area and other hot spots,” Lt. DeCosta said “In order to accomplish this goal, all available Falmouth police officers will be on-duty during the Falmouth fireworks display. Police officers will be patrolling on foot, as well as by motorcycle, bicycle, all-terrain vehicles and patrol cars.”
In addition, The Falmouth Harbormaster’s Office will patrol the waters off Falmouth Heights Beach. The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office will be on site with K-9 teams, if needed.
Police remind spectators that the fireworks are an alcohol-free event. All laws governing the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages will be enforced, and those in violation may be arrested or summoned to court.
“In the interest of public safety, all containers will be subject to random search,” Lt. DeCosta said. “Therefore, it is strongly recommended that attendees do not bring a cooler.”
In addition, Falmouth has banned the public consumption of marijuana. Violators are subject to a $300 fine.
There are several other Fourth of July celebrations in Falmouth next Thursday.
The Falmouth Village Association will hold its annual bike and carriage parade at 10 AM. The parade starts at the Saint Barnabas Church, with participants marching and riding to the main branch of the Falmouth Public Library on Main Street.
“It think it will be a tremendous amount of fun and a great opportunity to meet new people,” said Thomas von Zabern, owner of the Palmer House Inn and member of the Falmouth Village Association Board of Directors.
“It is a great opportunity for Falmouth to show visitors what the town is all about,” Mr. von Zabern continued.
The Marine Biological Laboratory will hold its annual Fourth of July parade at noon. The parade goes from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution parking lot on School Street to Waterfront Park on Water Street.
“It is probably the most unique Fourth of July parade you will see anywhere,” said Gina Hebert, director of communications at MBL. “It is very science-themed, with a lot of costumes and dancing.”
The parade dates back to the 1940s, when it took place near Quissett Harbor, before later moving to the village.
“It is a very popular tradition here in Woods Hole,” Ms. Herbert said. “All of Water Street will be lined, two or three deep.”