*Fenwick Island bonfire helps kick off Independence Day weekend*

While parades and firework displays will be plentiful this weekend throughout the area’s beach communities, Fenwick Island will host another tradition that has become synonymous with the town’s summertime excitement.

The annual bonfire, which helps raise funds for the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol, will take place on the beach at Dagsboro Street this Saturday, July 2, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Activities and games, live music, raffles and a silent auction will provide fun for the whole family, while the community pitches in to give back to summer’s heroes.

“The Fenwick Island Beach Patrol does so much for this community,” said Fenwick Island Town Manager Wynn Abbott. “They participate regularly in competitions that help build teamwork and keep them in shape. The bonfire gives the rest of us a way to show our appreciation and give back to them.”

T-shirts and beach towels will be available for purchase, as well as snow cones and 50/50 raffles, with proceeds going to the patrol. Island music will be provided by DJ Jawz. A silent auction will provide guests the chance to get their hands on authentic Fenwick Island Beach Patrol gear, too.

“It a lot of fun for everybody,” said Abbott. “When you get out there, and there’s this huge fire, and you see 500 kids and parents on the beach with glowsticks. It’s absolutely amazing.”

Throughout the year, local beach patrols take part in a variety of events to keep skills sharp, stay in shape and to promote cooperation between beach communities.

“There are seven or eight local events each year,” said Tim Ferry, Fenwick Island Beach Patrol captain. “Then there are three big ones that we gear up for – the Mid-Atlantic Region competition, the Lifeguard Olympics in Rehoboth and the USA Nation Lifeguarding Championships. We’ve been fortunate to see success at these competitions, and they really build a lot of camaraderie among the patrol.

“Since the town has evolved each year that the bonfire has been held,” he added, “it has really developed into something huge in stature. The number of families and people who come out has grown a lot. It’s definitely an outstanding community and family event, and our lifeguards are very fortunate to benefit from it.”

For more information, call Fenwick Island Town Hall at (302) 539-3011.