Just let the children sing

April 15, 2013

A Pennsylvania church group recently asked Lewes officials if its children’s choir could appear later this month at Canalfront Park in Lewes to sing as part of a mission trip to the beach area.

The pastor of the church said the children would sing for about an hour starting at dusk, and he asked permission to use a sound sys­tem to support the young voices, noting “... we will fully respect the area and use the system only to be heard, not to create an inappropri­ate level of sound.”

It’s hard to believe anyone in Lewes would object to the sound of two dozen children singing in the park, but Lewes Mayor and City Council turned down the request.

The reason? A resident protested the ampli­fication request as an invasion of “our space, our time and our home.”

In Lewes, city policy flows from the city’s Core Values adopted more than two decades ago. Among them: Lewes is a town of busy days and quiet nights, a concept that sets Lew­es apart from Rehoboth Beach and Dewey.

“Quiet, slower-paced evenings in Lewes are a valued asset,” the core value states.

Does that mean Lewes slams the door shut and turns out the lights the minute the sun slips below the horizon? What about Lewes residents who live near Stango Park, with its popular summer concert series? How can it be that those much larger concerts draw not complaints but praise from residents who sit on their porches on summer evenings to enjoy the music?

Lewes already has a noise ordinance that should be enforced when anyone is too loud or disturbs the carefully guarded peace of the town. Still, Lewes Mayor and Council now want a whole new set of regulations for the parks, no doubt requiring a task force, miles of paperwork and a full slate of public hearings.

All this because some children want to visit the town, enjoy the park and sing out in praise.

Why not just let them?

If they make too much noise, ask them to stop.


  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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