It’s official. The Portland City Council approved a request to hold the 2019 Fourth of July Fireworks at Bogue Flats. Old-timers will tell you that they used to be held at Bogue Flats every year before they were moved to a more ideal location at Portland High School which has better parking, better traffic flow and greater distances from nearby buildings, roofs and woods.
The High School property and athletic facilities are currently undergoing serious construction renovations, that will last until late August, making it unavailable for 4th of July festivities. It came down to a choice of Bogue Flats or no fireworks. The City Council and The Portland Chamber of Commerce could not seem to fathom a 4th of July without our own local fireworks. City Manager Tutt Gorman said, “We ask for everyone’s patience and we need volunteers” regarding the fireworks one-time return to Bogue Flats. Gorman told City Council Members that due to safety issues, “No personal fireworks will be allowed” at Bogue Flats on the 4th of July.
Star Thomas, Portland’s Police Chief, told the Beacon that fireworks participants will need to “Be patient as traffic management will be challenging, considering the location of the venue”. Thomas also said the everyone will need to “Keep their personal fireworks at home!” as the proximity of city buildings, the woods and close parking will require strict enforcement of a personal firework ban in order to maximize public safety.
Fireworks displays are scheduled to resume at the High School in September for the Portland Sesquicentennial Celebration.