- Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:59
- Published on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 05:04
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Colonial Beach officials feel that the Fourth of July holiday and weekend was a big success. Except for some complaints by motorists coming from the southern-most part of town (the Point), there were no other known complaints as of Monday, July 8.
Motorists coming from the Point in Colonial Beach reported wait times of up-to-two hours, where traffic was
at a complete standstill.
A CB Rescue Squad Member was heard over the scanner asking for police presence near the Baptist Church on Garfield Ave., saying, “Send someone to direct traffic down here, the crowd is getting rowdy.” Horns were heard nonstop in the background during these transmissions.
The CB Police Department counted vehicles entering the Beach on Colonial Avenue. Police Chief William Seay reported to Town Manager Val Foulds that on July 4, there were 1,723 vehicles counted from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Vehicles contained multiple people, so with an average of three-people-per-car, that would be at least 5,169 visitors to the town.
There were 1,430 vehicles counted on July 5th. On July 6th, there were 2,915, and on July 7th (until 10 a.m.), 1,378 vehicles entered the Beach. The police counted a total of 7,446 vehicles over the weekend beginning on Thursday, July 4th.
Police presence was very good, according to both Tommy Edwards and Trish King, who head up the CB Tourism Committee.
At the July 8 Tourism Committee meeting, Edwards, who manned the visitor center in the morning, said that before 10 a.m. on July 4th, CB Police Chief William Seay had already set up signs for parking, and police began a methodical parking plan. First waving visitors onto Town Hill, then to the elementary school area.
Westmoreland County Sheriff C.O. Balderson said in a phone interview Monday, that there were Sheriff’s Deputies from both Westmoreland County and Charles County, Maryland, along with Virginia State Police assisting CB Police Department.
The entire CB Police Department was out in force. CB Volunteer Rescue Squad and CB Fire Department set up around the town to allow for easier access to emergencies as they might arise.
The Independence Day holiday was a good test for Colonial Beach and Westmoreland County after consolidating the emergency dispatch services. Earlier this year, the two localities began work to move dispatch services for CB Police Department to the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff C.O. Balderson said that the two entities switched over early on June 28, to ensure a three-day window to work out any bugs in the system. The sheriff said, however, that there were no issues and the transition has gone smoothly.
Balderson reported that the County was very busy, as far as personnel, however there were no major accidents reported.
Surprisingly, the only reported police incidents involved three cases of underage possession of alcohol, and one case of possession of marijuana. All four resulted in arrests without incident.
Both Edwards and King commended the CB Public Works Department for keeping up with trash removal on the Boardwalk, and the care of portable toilets.
Edwards did say that he felt the town should plan ahead for next year to provide parking at the CB High School campus, and use either the trolley or offer golf cart-shuttle service to bring folks to and from their cars.
Edwards said that all of the churches and clubs with parking, such as the American Legion, opened up their lots to visitors.
Trish King reported from her afternoon post at the town’s visitor center, “The crowd was very well-behaved, especially for the number of people who showed up.” King added that people were very polite and respectable.
King also said, “At one time, all you could see were umbrellas and no sand.”
Colonial Beach also hosted people from the Dahlgren Naval Base area and all of King George County, since neither locality provided fireworks this year.
It will take a while for the town to realize the revenue brought in, but it will be able to judge the economic impact after the next billing cycle for sales, lodging and meals taxes.
On July 13-14, Colonial Beach will host the YMCA Triathlon, also known as the 2013 Pohanka Nissan Hyundai Colonial Beach Triathlon. Sprint on the 13th, and Olympic on the 14th.
The following week, the town will host to the 2013 Liberty Cup Watercraft Races, which will be held on July 20 and 21.