Bonfire returns to Onset Beach after 50 years

By Meghan Neely | Jun 23, 2018
Photo by: Meghan Neely Onset saw it's first bonfire in over 50 years at Shell Point Beach on June 23.

Onset Beach saw its first public bonfire in more than 50 years on Saturday, June 23, thanks to the persistent efforts of the Onset Bay Association.

"The last bonfire I know about was in 1962," said Executive Director Kat Jones. "It used to be an annual event, and I figured it was time we brought it back."

Jones said she had been trying to organize the bonfire since January only to be met with complications each time.

"We were going to do a Christmas tree bonfire," Jones said. "But it ended up being -7 degrees with the windchill."

The bonfire was then rescheduled for March only to be met with record-breaking storms.

"The fire department was exhausted," Jones said. "Today, we're hoping the third time is the charm."

Despite gray skies, rain held off for Jones and the huge crowd of people that came pouring into Shell Point Beach.

Towels and lawn chairs were set up in a circle around the bonfire, and Jones expressed her excitement with the turnout.

"We want this to be something for locals to enjoy," Jones said. "So many people have memories of the Onset bonfires from when they were kids. I'm glad that they can enjoy it again."

Jones hopes that the bonfire will become an annual event. Weather permitting, of course.

Crowds of onlookers gather around the bonfire. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
The bonfire as seen from South Boulevard in Onset. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
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