Berlin Council Approves July Fireworks, Bathtub Races

BERLIN – Town officials approved plans for the return of fireworks as well as the Berlin Bathtub Races in July.

On Monday, the Berlin Town Council voted unanimously to approve plans for fireworks on July 3 at Heron Park and plans for the Berlin Bathtub Races on July 9. Both events were canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.

“We’ve had lots and lots of interest so we really want to go forward with this event,” said Berlin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Larnet St. Amant of the bathtub races.

St. Amant said the event would be held July 9 from 6-8 p.m. The starting line for the bathtubs will be near Taylor Bank while the finish line will be near the Atlantic Hotel. Main Street will be closed to vehicles from noon to 9 p.m. the day of the races.

St. Amant said little had changed from previous events.

“Pretty much business as usual,” she said.

Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director, said the races were being held the same night as July’s Second Friday festivities in order to put less of a strain on town resources.

“This actually works out great,” she said.

Mayor Zack Tyndall suggested extending the closure of Main Street closer to Tripoli Street. Police Chief Arnold Downing said because that would eliminate several parking options, he’d rather see the racecourse pushed farther from the barricades. He said his officers could also park one of their vehicles anywhere there was a concern about safety.

The council voted unanimously to approve plans for the July 9 Berlin Bathtub Races.

“This is a fantastic event,” Councilman Jay Knerr said.

The council went on to also approve plans for fireworks on July 3. Though there were originally plans to partner with Worcester County and hold fireworks at the Northern Worcester Athletic Complex, Wells said after a meeting with the parties involved town staff now recommended moving the fireworks back to Heron Park, where they were held successfully in the past. Wells said one issue public safety officials had brought up was the possibility of people running across Route 113 if the fireworks were held at the ballfields.

“Chief and I thought it might be a good idea to just keep it at Heron Park this year,” Wells said.

The fireworks are set to take place at dusk on July 3.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.