What to do when the 3rd of July comes around, and friends inquire about your annual pre-fireworks bash, but you have to work? If you're Dean Borders, owner of in Danvers Square, you bring the party to you.
Borders said the idea for a fireworks pregame came to him one night over a beer when he thought, "wouldn't it be great to have something outside?" The Tavern, which is set in the middle of a string of shops on the corner of Maple and School Street, has ample space in the private lot directly behind the building, the perfect spot, Borders said, for a party.
Once permissions were granted from the landlord and neighboring businesses, all Borders needed was to approach the Board of Selectmen with his request for an outdoor license, which was approved in June.
Of primary concern was whether there would be a clear demarcation of the event from the street, and if patrons at the party would have the ability to gain access to the tavern by using the tavern's back door, which can be seen easily from the lot. Borders assured the event will be closely controlled, monitored by staff at the gate, the entire perimeter fenced off, and no access to the tavern from the back.
"This is our first time doing this, and I hope it's successful. We'd love to turn this into an annual event," he said. "Next year, I'd love to incorporate a 5K road race for charity or to benefit the . That's ultimately what I want to do, is to try to benefit the town."
For now, Borders has likened the event to a "bash with music." There will be ample seating provided, drinks to include cold beer, wine and soft drinks. The party menu will be standard summertime fare, from burgers, hotdogs and sausage sandwiches, to chicken sandwiches and wraps. Borders will have popcorn, ice cold slush and cotton candy for kids and kids at heart.
"There is no alcohol at , so this is a place for people to come prior [to the fireworks festival], enjoy some great food and drink and listen to some great music," said Borders.
The festivities begin at noon on July 3, with music provided throughout the day by Maple Street Tavern's well known bartender, Jennifer Mscisz, who will don her DJ hat for the festivities from 12-5 p.m. The featured musical act will be Boston's own rockabilly, funk and soul singer Barrence Whitfield. Whitfield will perform from 5pm-9p.m, in preparation for the fireworks, which start at 9:20p.m.
"I'm so excited for Barrence Whitfield. I love blues music...I knew of him and asked if he was available. This guy is the real deal; he just opened for ZZ Topp in Dallas over the weekend. He's really fun to watch," Borders enthused.
Maple Street Tavern will be open for regular business for the day, with their full regular menu, and Borders advises folks coming into town to find their parking early, as finding parking later will be a challenge with the fireworks at Plains Park.
"The municipal lots are your best bet," he said. "We're walking distance to the fireworks, which will end sometime around 10:30pm, so this is a great alternative to sitting in traffic at the end of the night. We hope people will come on in for a bite to eat and wait it out."