For the first time since its inaugural New Year’s Eve in 1999, the annual Havre de Grace Duck Drop will be held along the waterfront.
“Because of the school construction that we’re all so proud of, the Duck Drop is being moved this year,” David Glenn, the Havre de Grace City Council president, said at Monday night’s council meeting. The Duck Drop and accompanying fireworks to welcome the first day of 2019 will be held at Concord Point Park, home of the Concord Point Lighthouse.
“We’re excited about the new location,” Mayor William T. Martin said. “The city has been working closely with the Susquehanna Hose Company, especially Ed Grainger. It’s going to be a very good location.”
“So don’t be showing up at the middle school,” Glenn quipped.
Annually since Richard Tome, a Havre de Grace community activist and a former city councilman, thought the city needed to do something special when the year 2000 arrived, a large wooden duck representing the local waterfowl heritage has been lowered much like the giant ball in New York City’s Times Square.
For many years since, it has been another community service project of the Susquehanna Hose Co., the city’s volunteer fire company, spearheaded by Grainger.
For this, its 20th year, the celebration was going to have to be moved. The area in front of Havre de Grace Middle School, where many of the spectators gathered, and the side of the building, where the duck was dropped and the fireworks were launched, have been turned into the construction road leading the site of the new Havre de Grace High School and Middle School project.
In other business at Monday night’s city council meeting:
A budget amendment transferring $275,000 to pay part of a shoreline restoration project along the Promenade was approved.
“The Concord Street cove remediation is really going to help with our water returning back to the Chesapeake Bay and the Susquehanna River,” City Councilman David Martin said.
“This is the Department of Natural Resources reimbursement going into our budget,” the mayor said.
During his report at Monday’s meeting, the mayor praised the second annual Havre de Grace Oyster Feast held Saturday.
“We had over 400 people in attendance,” he said. “We had 17 nonprofits represented; $6,700 was pumped into 17 nonprofits.”
The annual oyster feast is done as a fundraiser for nonprofit organizations in the city. Tickets are $50 per person and $15 per ticket goes as a donation to the group that sold the ticket. The remaining $35 covers the cost of the event.