Bonfire on ice: Tangier residents throw party while frozen in

The crew of the J. Millard Tawes clears the way for fuel and supply boats along the Eastern Shore. Produced by Ralph Musthaler, Delmarva Now

TANGIER, Va. (Delmarva Now) -- Tangier residents made the best of being frozen in on their island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay by reviving an old tradition — gathering for a wintertime bonfire Sunday on the ice at Job's Cove.

More than 100 people — out of a population of 722 — came out to the event, according to one attendee.

A blizzard on Jan. 4 dumped up to 13 inches of snow on parts of Accomack County.

SEE ALSO: Icebreaker a vital lifeline for frozen Smith Island

Life for Tangier residents was complicated by the continuing frigid temperatures that left them iced in.

Still, they made the best of the situation, including gathering for a bonfire, complete with music and hot chocolate Saturday night.

"This was the first bonfire in many years, probably 40 or more," said Tangier resident Carol Pruitt-Moore.

PHOTOS: Wintertime bonfire on Tangier Island

It was resident Allen Parks' idea to revive the tradition, she said.

A modern means of communication — Facebook — was used to spread the word, with everyone on the island invited to join in.

"Some ice skated and were sledding. We had music, hot chocolate...a really fun time," said Pruitt-Moore, who documented the event and the winter freeze in general in a series of photographs posted on Facebook.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2018. All Rights Reserved


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