Fourth of July fireworks shows at Delmarva beaches

WASHINGTON — Headed to the beach for the Fourth of July? If you’re there all weekend you can see multiple shows sprawled out on the beach.

In Rehoboth Beach, the fireworks are scheduled a night early — on Sunday, July 3. The show kicks off at 9:15 p.m. and is put on by the nonprofit Rehoboth Beach Main Street.

You can watch the show from a bench, the boardwalk or the beach, sitting in your favorite beach chair or laying on a blanket. The show is advertised as being visible up and down the boardwalk and shoreline.

Angle it just right and you can also watch the show from nearby Cape May, New Jersey, which is just a few miles across Delaware Bay. Their show starts at 9 p.m.

But if you’re among the 800 or so with tickets, you can see both shows from out in the middle of Delaware Bay.

The Cape May-Lewes Ferry is once again doing a July Fourth Fireworks Cruise that allows passengers to catch both displays, along with live music. Food and beverages are also there for purchase. Tickets for this year’s cruise have already sold out, though, so if you don’t have them this time, keep it in mind for next year.

Of course there will also be lots of Fourth of July fireworks on Independence Day, too.

Bethany Beach says their show will start the Fourth of July at dusk.

In Ocean City, you’ll actually get two shows simultaneously — one at Northside Park at 125th Street and the Bay, and one on the southern end of the town at North Division Street and the ocean.

“It’s the exact same show,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “Music of course, with all the shows,” too, with the shows on each end of town designed for convenience as much as anything.

“We try to accommodate the visitors,” Meehan said. “We do that so everybody doesn’t have to try to get to one location. That really helps ease some of the traffic problems and some of the anxiety of everybody that wants to get to one of the fireworks displays.”

The festivities get underway at 8 p.m. on July 4, with the show on the beach featuring music from the 1980s cover band The Reagan Years leading up to the 9:30 p.m. fireworks.

At Northside Park, The Janitors provide the musical entertainment leading up to the fireworks over the bay. They’re a cover band often found in Virginia Beach.

This is also when the tourist season really starts to ramp up at the beaches.

“That’s probably the largest weekend, population-wise, of the summer,” Meehan said. “If we’re going to approach 300,000 for any given weekend, it’ll be over the July Fourth celebration.”

But will they all stay for the whole week?

For many people, having Independence Day on a Monday means at minimum a three-day weekend.

“Sometimes if it’s a longer weekend there might be less people that stay for that actual following week because you have people coming for a three- to four-day period rather than a seven-day period,” Meehan said.

From the perspective of the businesses that thrive on tourists using vacation days and dollars, some think having Independence Day fall on a Wednesday or Thursday is better.

Then again, as Meehan also notes, when it comes to the beach. “if it’s good weather, I don’t think it’ll make a difference.”

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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