Plans are well underway for the Charlestown Parks and Recreation Department's 13th annual New Year’s Eve bonfire in Ninigret Park, according to department secretary, Rebecca Crosby.
Frank Glista, who began the now-popular and well-attended tradition in 2005, creates the structure used in the bonfire from stacks of pallets donated by Arnold Lumber.
The first year of the event, Glista drove around collecting the pallets. Beginning the next year, Arnold Lumber began to deliver the pallets and arrange them with a forklift. Two years ago, there was a 10-foot-tall base of 12-foot-long pallets with a 5-foot block of pallets stacked on top. Glista always includes wooden numerals indicating the outgoing year as a symbolic farewell.
The event will begin at 4:30 p.m., with free doughnuts and hot chocolate courtesy of Dunkin’ Donuts. The Charlestown Fire Department will light the fire about 5 p.m. and monitor its progress, checking to make sure the coals are out before leaving the park.
"It burns quickly," said Crosby. "It doesn't take too long."
This articles uses excerpts from the article in The Westerly Sun on December 26.