Memorial Day weekend is here, and with it comes a chance to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Of course, it has also become the unofficial start to summer, which in these parts means getting some beach time in, maybe firing up the grill, and reacquainting oneself with all that summer brings in southeastern Sussex County.
So, from the sublime to the ridiculous, here is a roundup of what’s going on this weekend in our back yard:
• Mason-Dixon Post 7234 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars will host two Memorial Day observances. The first will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 28, at the Bethany Beach bandstand. The speaker will be Sussex County Councilman George Cole of Ocean View.
• The VFW will also host an observance on May 30, which is the traditional date for Memorial Day, on which those who died in military service had been honored since the end of the Civil War. The May 30 ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. the Mason-Dixon post, located at the north end of Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View. The public is invited to either ceremony, or both.
• Another observance of the dedication and sacrifice of the country’s military is the Flags for Heroes program. The Southern Sussex Rotary will host a special Flags for Heroes event to remember those who served and honor those who still serve, on May 26 at 1 p.m. on Lord Baltimore Elementary School lawn, featuring the Indian River High School band ensemble and National Defense Cadet Corps (NDCC).
The public is invited to the event, which involves the placement of dozens of large flags on the school lawn. The flags will remain there for several weeks.
In addition to those meaningful observances, there are a number of activities throughout the weekend that may be worth checking out. Bookworms, athletes and families looking for a unique activity should be able to find something to their liking this weekend.
• St. Martha’s Episcopal Church will hold the first of its used book and bake sales for the year on Saturday, May 26, at the church at Maplewood Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Bethany Beach, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The sale features used hardbound and paperback books in good condition, children’s books, CDs, DVDs, puzzles and games, as well as baked and snacks. The committee is accepting donated books and other items for the sales, in the bin on the church porch Wednesday through Friday between 9 a.m. and noon. Proceeds from the sales benefit St. Martha’s operating and outreach programs. For more information, call (302) 539-7444.
• Also on Saturday, May 26, the Justin’s Beach House 5K and 2-miler will take place to benefit the Bethany Beach respite vacation home for families affected by cancer. The chip-timed event includes a post-race party on the boardwalk, T-shirts for all preregistered participants, awards by age group and a free pre-race Kiddie Dash for children.
Details are online at http://justinjennings.org.
• Bethany Beach will roll out the red carpet to welcome the summer season with its Poseidon Festival, featuring nightly musical performances Friday through Monday on the bandstand, a movie on the beach at dusk on Friday, a chance to learn how to prepare for coastal emergencies on Friday night, a mermaid-themed event at the Bethany Beach Nature Center on Saturday morning and the town’s first-ever Hermit Crab Derby on Sunday afternoon.
Details, including event times, are available on the Town’s website at http://townofbethanybeach.com/497/Poseidon-Festival, as well in a full preview of the festival in this week’s issue of the Coastal Point.
• And finally, the Delaware Seashore State Park kicks off summer with a chance to chase ghosts — well, actually ghost crabs. On Friday, May 25, the park will host a Beach Bonfire and Wild Crab Chase. The bonfire starts at 8 p.m., and the informational program on the elusive ghost crab will commence at 8:30 p.m. Both activities will take place on the north inlet beach. Both events are free with admission to the park.
By Kerin Magill