MTABC fighting to return Middle River fireworks
The skies above Middle River were dim during this year’s Fourth of July celebrations.
Residents were disappointed when, for the first time in over two decades, the area did not have their annual fireworks extravaganza during Independence Day due to a lack of funds.
The Marine Trades Association of Baltimore County is now working to return this patriotic tradition back to Middle River.
The Eastern Yacht Club took over the fireworks in
2012 from the MTABC. When the yacht club announced that they would not be holding the fireworks this year, Brian Schneider, the MTABC president and committee chairperson, said that his association immediately wanted to take back on the responsibility.
“We carried them on for 17 years but after a while and a lot of work, a lot of us just got burned out. It’s a thankless job and with a lot of our members getting older, it got harder and harder,” said Schneider. “But now, we got rested up and decided to take it back over. We decided that ‘hey, we got to get back in the game.’”
However, it was far too late to put on the 2017 show, so they set their sights on 2018.
“It’s a long process, it takes from now to then to get things started.”
With preparation now beginning, the MTABC is putting the majority of their efforts into fundraising.
“Obviously, production cost of a barge mounted fireworks show is very high. The ultimate decision to proceed with the show will be based on the financial sponsorships of residents, boaters and businesses of the area,” states the release from the organization.
Past organizers have told the Avenue News that the event cost approximately $28,000 to put on each year. Despite popular belief, the event is not funded or sponsored by Baltimore County. It is all donationbased. Donations drying up last year caused the Eastern Yacht Club to cancel the event.
“We have to go out and get all the donations together ourselves. It’s quite a time-consuming thing. However, I think in its [the fireworks] absence, people are realizing they need to support it, that the community needs them to step up.”
Despite the upcoming year of work, he is excited about the festivities, saying that he recently spoke to the pyrotechnics supervisor who said he will be “putting on one hell of a show.”
“He’s ready to get back to the area and put on a dynamite show,” said Schneider. The committee is proposing
The 2018 fireworks will also have a new venue. The association is working to secure a new location to the east of Wilson Point. They believe this change would provide better viewing for the residents, boaters and restaurants located on Hogpen, Norman, Hopkins, Dark Head, Stansbury and Frog Mortar Creeks.
“All the houses in that area are going to get a spectacular view from their home.”
Next year’s celebration will also be dedicated to two local watermen who made the fireworks possible every year, Raymond N. Porter of Porter’s Seneca Marina and Jack Deckelman of the Deckelman Marine Group. Both men passed away last year and were pivotal to setting up the yearly event and drumming up community support.
Schneider said the success of the event relies on the generosity and persistence of local homeowners and businesses. This Middle River tradition can only happen with help from Middle River itself, he stressed.
“We need donations, it’s all about the money. We can’t raise the funds by ourselves, we need you!” declared Schnieder as a final thought.
Support checks can be sent to: MTABC, P.O. Box 18137, Middle River, MD. 21220. For additional details and major sponsor information, please call 410 335-7000.