Firefly will be rolling into Dover this weekend. For several days the population of Dover will swell from roughly 36,000 to nearly 96,000. The city is taking special precautions to accommodate the 60,000 campers and festival goers who will flock to the woodlands.
Firefly has designated 10 different camp sites for firefly attendees, one of which falls into the city of Dover’s jurisdiction. This year a campground has been set up on Delaware State University’s campus at the corner of U.S. Route 13 and College Road. Because this campground is not part of the festival proper and is within the city limits, Dover Emergency Services personnel have some extra responsibility.
“The biggest difference between NASCAR and Firefly is that with Firefly most people camp in tents,” said Kay Sass, public affairs and emergency management coordinator for the city. “We have to worry about the elements a little more, as well as things such as people pulling a car too close and putting off exhaust or people driving around amongst the campers.”
That campsite alone will hold 800 tents, which translates to 3,200 campers. The DSU campground will also have space for RVs.
The fact that the DSU campground is located on the opposite side of U.S. Route 13 from the festival means that campers will be walking to and from the concert.
“A lot of people will be out walking,” said Sass “We need people traveling on 13 to be looking out for people crossing.”
The Emergency Management Office and the Fire Marshal’s office have bulked up on staff, Sass said.
The personnel will be tasked with patrolling the camp site to do safety checks, ensure that vehicles aren’t parked too close to tents and enforce the rules set down by Red Frog, the company that is putting on Firefly. Delaware State security staff will also be keeping an eye on the campground.
Dover Police will also have a presence at Firefly. They will be acting as security inside The Woodlands.
“We are out there to prevent crimes and oversee the law enforcement side of the event for areas within city of Dover,” said Dover Police Captain Tim Stump. “Out there we will have the same purposes we always do, to ensure the safety of everybody attending the event.”
DelDOT has also taken several measures to prepare for the festival. Both Leipsic Road and Persimmon Tree Road will be closed to traffic in the area surrounding the festival from 10 a.m. Friday until late Sunday evening.
Once the festival wraps up the roads will reopen and all detours will be posted.
Page 2 of 2 - Dover residents with smart phones can keep an eye on traffic and plan alternate routes with the help of DelDOT’s traffic Ap. Traffic can also be monitored on WTMC 1380 AM.
Dover residents can expect to see an influx in traffic Thursday afternoon as festival goers arrive. The festival is set to wrap up around 11 p.m. on Sunday, meaning that most campers will remain in Dover until Monday morning, leading to another spike in traffic, Sass said.
“Traffic may be a little heavier, but it won’t be near the traffic situation we have with NASCAR,” Stump said. “People are going to filter in, residents will notice heavier traffic but people will still be able to get where they need to in Dover without much trouble.”