Plans well under way for Bethany's annual Fourth of July event


The Bethany Beach Fourth of July Parade Committee is in the process of planning the 33rd annual event and is seeking participants. The event will take place on Monday, July 4.

The 2016 theme is “Celebrate Your Right to Vote.” The committee is looking for businesses and organizations to enter and compete for a variety of prizes.

“Now is the time to start building, before the busy season hits. Families are also encouraged to participate,” the committee member said.

Guidelines can be found on the Town’s website at www.townofbethanybeach.com, under Activities, Fourth of July. There is no pre-registration. Floats and bikes may be entered the day of the parade from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the registration desks, with floats at Route 1 and Central Avenue; and bikes at the Christian Church grounds. (Bike decorating kits will be distributed while supplies last.)

The official Bethany Beach Fourth of July Parade T-shirts will be on sale from 9 a.m. to noon on the day of the parade and from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the bandstand concerts leading up to the Fourth of July.

The annual Firecracker 5K Run/3K Walk will be held on Sunday, June 26, at 8 a.m. at the bandstand. Online registration is now open. Entry forms will also be available at the T-shirt sales tables and in Town Hall. For details, visit http://bethanybeach5k.com/.

The parade will begin at noon at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Garfield Parkway and take its traditional 2-mile route through town. In addition to the floats and bikes, it will feature seven marching bands and seven entertainment groups on trucks.

New this year is the Downtowners Fancy Brigade (Mummers band) from Philadelphia and the 1st Delaware Regiment Fife & Drum Corps. (There is always room for more marching bands.) In order to eliminate gaps in the parade, there will be no performances in front of the viewing stand.

There will be no horseshoe-throwing contest this year.

The award ceremony will take place on the bandstand at 7:15 p.m. Judging will take place before the parade begins. Brett Warner will be the grand marshal, in honor of his years of service as the Town’s public works director.

The Air National Guard Band of the Northeast will bring its concert and rock bands to provide the evening entertainment on the bandstand.

The Parade Committee is looking for young adults to lead the parade by carrying the banner, which can count toward community service hours. The committee also needs volunteers for marshal positions. To volunteer or get more information, contact Events Director Julie Malewski, at (302) 539-8725.

Since the success of the parade depends heavily on the availability of police, EMTs and bands, there is no rain date. For more information, visit the Town’s website at www.townofbethanybeach.com.