Live from the field at Firefly.
Gov. Jack Markell gave a warm welcome to the Firefly Music Festival on Friday, a day after the event kicked off at The Woodlands in Dover.
Markell spoke at a press conference where he thanked event organizers – Red Frog Events – for bringing one of the biggest music festivals on the East Coast to Delaware for a fifth year.
“Red Frog Events, you’re a great company. We have a great partnership with you – you bring fun wherever you go,” Markell said. “We’re so grateful to you for having this vision. This is going to define Delaware for years and years to come.”
Red Frog Events Chief Operation Officer Stephanie Mezzano also offered remarks and said that the company has invested a lot of money on The Woodlands, including adding drainage and permanent pathways to and from the different stages.
“We’re so thrilled to be here. It’s a huge year for Firefly. Look at the property, it’s the best it’s ever been,” Mezzano said. “We’ve also continued to really invest in this property so we have a lot of site improvements including two permanent stages. Over the years, we will continue to push for more and add more stages.”
Both Markell and Mezzano were thankful that the weather this year has been a huge improvement from how it was in 2015 when rain flooded camping grounds and turned the site into a giant mud pit.
“The weather is amazing and we’re thankful for that,” she said.
Some 90,000 people are attending the four-day event which concludes on Sunday evening.
In 2014, Firefly brought $68 million to the local economy, according to Linda Parkowski, the director of tourism at Visit Delaware.
“This event has changed the landscape of the state. We have millennials that are coming to Delaware,” Parkowski said. “Some are inspired to come at another time.”
Markell and Mezzano also expressed thanks to members in the legislature for contributing to having the event in the state, including state Sen. Bethany Hall-Long, state Rep. Jeff Spiegelman, state Rep. Helene Keeley and state Rep. Charles Paradee. U.S. Rep. Tom Carper also received a shout-out.
Markell said that he will be sticking around to check out some of the performances, including Earth Wind & Fire – a famous 1980s band that is performing on Sunday.
“At my age, that’s who I’m most excited for,” Markell said.