28 DAYS From NOW: The Community Fireworks Show Celebrating Our Nation’s Independence will occur on Saturday, July 1 at 9:15 p.m. Please Donate Today!

Please remember this is a neighborhood-funded show and funded solely through your contributions: Go to opcl.org/FIREWORKS! The Ocean Park Civic League undertakes the work of making it happen – the blizzard of permits and contracts-following all the rules and regulations- thank you Jill Doczi!! And raising the money but no $$ come from the civic leagues (Ocean Park and Baylake Pines) and no monies collected go to the civic leagues. All money collected in the Fireworks Fund is spent on the fireworks shows only. The residents make this neighborhood event happen for our community as a neighborhood (not city wide) event. Your donations are the key so let’s make this happen!!!

Please consider supporting the Ocean Park Civic League by becoming a member for $20 if you live in Ocean Park. What does your membership pay for? The civic league budget pays for the costs of getting information out – website costs, email blast Mailchimp services, snail mail post office box, IT services. We make contributions to Lynnhaven River Now, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and we give a four year $1000 college scholarship every year. The civic league does the work of getting the fireworks show approved and makes it happen (Thank you Jill Doczi!). The civic league also puts on two great neighborhood social events with food, great music and fun for the kids: Spring Fling and Fall Fest which are free to members. Please help support your neighborhood civic league!! 

A Little Fireworks History!

In the past, Shore Drive residents paid for and shot off individual fireworks along the beaches on the Fourth of July. It was huge fun. While spectacular to watch, it was also unregulated and unsafe.

A few years ago, the Virginia Beach Fire Marshal launched an effort to stop amateur fireworks on the Fourth of July. It succeeded with heavy patrolling, enforcement and penalties—ending personal fireworks on our beaches that year.

The following year, Ocean Park Civic League pulled together a beach show using a pyrotechnic company. The City, satisfied, ended heavy patrolling on the holiday. After a few years, changes in permit and safety requirements, plus the loss of beach, required that the show become a barge show. To offset the cost of fuel and barge rental, some bayfront civic leagues joined forces rather than see fireworks on the Fourth end. A more central location was chosen with Coast Guard approval. The current show is constantly fine-tuned to accommodate the wishes of all neighborhoods. Please know that you support fireworks through donations to the show. Also know that if you don’t let your civic league know you want a fireworks show, it can be voted out each year. Active participation in your community provides events like these for you, your family and friends to enjoy. This professional show is now shot off a barge in the bay.

Participating communities:
Baylake Pines and Ocean Park including Pelican Dunes, Chesapeake House, Bay Vista, 3356 on the Bay, Aeries on the Bay, Water Oaks, Three Ships Landing.

We hold a permit for a privately funded, community eventWe pay for this event through individual donations, so in consideration of the residential communities along the bay that allow us to put this together each year, we never share or promote it to the larger community.

Join Us at the Brock for June OPCL Meeting!

On Thursday, June 8 at 7 pm the Ocean Park Civic League will meet at the Brock Center. Come by to hear the latest, visit with your neighbors and have some refreshments! On the agenda are updates on the Truck Haul, Lynnhaven Wharf safety-cameras, FIREWORKS!, and a recently received notice of an application to close the paper streets around Marlin Bay: Clipper Bay and Ocean Tides. We will also hear from Caroline Morin who will tell us about starting up the Cape Kids: Cape Story by the Seas’s junior community service group.

Interim Changes to Shore Dr.?

Councilman Schulman, OPCL Pres. Danny Murphy, Mr. Hank Morrison, Phil Pullen, Phil Koetter, Rick Loman, Kathy Warren and Phil Davenport of the BAC.

President Danny Murphy recently participated an onsite meeting with Councilman Schulman, the Bayfront Advisory Commission leadership and city planners to explore the construction of a temporary  patchwork to create stopgap contiguous sidewalks for improved pedestrian safety along Shore Dr. As feared the 2023-2024 city budget defunded our long-promised Phase 4 Shore Drive Improvement Project, further delaying the construction of a modern roadway including improved curbs, multi-use path, and sidewalks.

Beach Season Reminders

After Memorial Day until after 6:00 pm on Labor Day dogs are allowed on the beach only before 10:00 am and after 6:00 pm. According to Beach Rules Virginia Beach Gov.com : “Dogs can be off leash on the beach so long as they are firmly under their caretaker’s control so as not to disturb other people or dogs”.

Some reminders about “golf carts” in our community. Although some communities in the area are designated golf cart communities, Ocean Park is not a designated or approved golf cart community. Because of this, to drive lawfully on the streets of Ocean Park golf carts must be street-legal electric vehicles as defined by state and city law. This means they must meet all the vehicular requirements, be titled, registered with low-speed license plates from DMV and covered by minimum insurance requirements. They may only be operated by drivers with a valid license or learner’s permit and the driver must follow all the same rules of the road as a normal vehicle. (Virginia Beach Codes of Ordinance: Sec. 7: 65-68 ).

It’s growing! The newly planted dune grass is looking beautiful! But it serves a very important purpose: to catch the sand to build and maintain the dunes. The deep roots also anchor the dunes and help preserve the dunes. Please stay off the dunes and allow the grass to get established!

2023 Ocean Park Scholarship Winner!

The OPCL Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce this year’s recipient of the Louise and George Lyon Memorial Scholarship is Coren Huff. Coren will graduate with honors from the Global Studies and World Languages Academy at Tallwood High School where she has distinguished herself through her academic achievement, extracurricular activities and community volunteer activities. Coren will attend Virginia Tech in the fall to pursue a double major in International Relations and Spanish, and a minor in Ecological Cities. In her essay she stated: “I hope to one day enter a field that contributes to sustainable development in Latin and South America that will serve communities for years to come.” We congratulate Coren!

Why Are the Fireworks on the 1st of July this year?

It bears repeating that the time and effort involved in arranging the fireworks every year for Ocean Park and the bayfront is considerable and is accomplished by people donating their time, chiefly of course is Jill Doczi. The short answer to the question of why the fireworks are on the 1st this year is: it saves a lot of money. The fireworks are funded exclusively through donations. None of the money raised goes into the civic league. Please donate to the fireworks fund!! (though by supporting the civic league you are contributing to the administrative costs and supporting the fireworks also). In recent years fireworks by other civic leagues along the water have been discontinued.. it takes a lot of work to get it done!

The longer story of why this saves money is interesting. Jill says: “There is an enormous barge shortage due to some major long-term construction projects in the midAtlantic concluding HRBT and CBBT. So much so that it took us and our contacts in Special Events at the city several months of working together to locate the correct type and size of ocean-going barge last year. The city and our show lost our long-term fireworks vendor over it because he was afraid he would be left with no income at all on the fourth and accepted some land shows. It was so nerve-wracking looking and being disappointed over the three months we searched that I almost quit 3 times. We were convinced there would be no fireworks in Virginia Beach at all several times. Anyway, the city finally located one. Because of that we piggybacked on the barge use last year and will this year.” We had two choices: “do the turnaround from the 3rd to the 4th and pay all that crew overtime (all of these people have to have Homeland Security clearance, State Polic clearance, fire marshal approval set. They can’t just find some employees at a temp agency) or have one load-in on the 1st or 2nd for $10,000 cheaper. Definitely save the $10,000 was the way we went. Considering that the 1st fell on a Saturday, the consensus was choose Saturday.”

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