NPS will allow vehicles on beach past closing for fireworks
By IRENE NOLAN
Hatteras National Seashore officials have decided that this year,
off-road vehicles may remain on the beaches near Avon past the 9 p.m.
closing time in order to watch the July 4 fireworks.
The fireworks will be staged on the Avon Pier and are scheduled to
begin at 9:10 p.m. on Monday evening. The seashore's beaches are closed
in the summer from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. to protect nesting sea
turtles. Since parking is very limited in the area of the pier,
many folks used to drive out on the beach to watch -- before
beaches were closed at 9 p.m. under the seashore's ORV regulations.
This year, seashore Superintendent Dave Hallac, in response to a
request from a beach driver, consulted with his staff and decided to
allow vehicles to stay on the beach until after the fireworks.
Hatteras Island District Ranger Joe Darling said in an email that Ramp
32, north of Avon, and Ramp 38, south of Avon, will remain open until
after the fireworks show, which will last about 20 minutes. He
also said that there will be park staff members on hand to monitor sea
Seashore officials are requesting that ORVs remain on the beach until
10 p.m. after the fireworks to allow ample time for pedestrians who are
also using the ramps to leave the area first. All vehicles should be
off the beach by 10:30.
IF you drive to the beach to watch the fireworks, remember that Radio
Hatteras will broadcast "Music for Fireworks" from 9 until 10 p.m. at
FM 101.5 and 99.9.
Also, seashore officials remind beachgoers over the holiday weekend that:
It is illegal to possess and/or discharge fireworks on all seashore beaches.
Beach fires are allowed with a permit between
the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on the ocean beaches in front of
Coquina Beach Day Use Area, Ocracoke Day Use Area, and the villages of
Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras.
Items -- such as canopies, tents, and chairs
-- may not be left unattended on the beach overnight. Unattended
items are hazardous both to park users at night and nesting sea turtles.
Digging holes in the sand is dangerous.
The sand can collapse on the people digging, possibly resulting in
death from suffocation. If you do dig holes, fill them in. They
are hazardous to people, vehicles, and wildlife.