MTABC fight­ing to re­turn Mid­dle River fire­works

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

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.

PHOTOS BY DAN BALD­WIN

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