Firefly may bring traffic, school disruptions, boost to local businesses
The Firefly Music Festival starts Thursday. Dover residents may want to prepare for crowds.
After it was canceled last year because of the pandemic, Firefly is expected to draw thousands of people to the Woodlands of the Dover International Speedway Thursday through Sunday.
C.R. Mcleod, a spokesperson for DelDOT, says drivers should expect the heaviest traffic Wednesday into Thursday on Routes 1 and 13. But he says DelDOT has been preparing for months.
“We’ll have a crew out throughout the duration of the festival, just ensuring we’re keeping traffic moving as quickly as possible and avoiding any major delays, especially at the primary entrance points off of Route 13,” he said.
The festival is also disrupting local schools.
The Capital School District decided to go virtual during Firefly—since officials said traffic coupled with a shortage of bus drivers means in-person learning would almost be impossible. The Caesar Rodney School District scheduled an in-service day Friday for similar reasons.
But Firefly should also bring local benefits. Pete Bradley, president of the Kent County Tourism Corporation, expects the festival travel to boost local restaurants and other businesses.
“We’ve been working with AEG, working with local hoteliers to fill rooms—and I know all our hoteliers are full this weekend,” he said, referring to the company that runs Firefly. “So just a very positive impact.”
Bradley also hopes the festival will expose tourists to what Delaware has to offer, and lead them to return in the future.
Firefly attendees must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.