Dewey's Running of the Bull a long-time tradition

The 17th Annual Running of the Bull took place in Dewey Beach July 13. Above, crowds chase the bull down the beach. SOURCE SUBMITTED
July 19, 2013

When it comes to having a well rounded event, Steve “Monty” Montgomery knows a thing or two about putting one together. The owner of The Starboard Restaurant in Dewey Beach has been hosting the Running of the Bulls for 17 years, and last year he introduced a kids’ version of the adult event that imitates Pamplona’s version of this yearly event with a fun, Dewey Beach style twist. The annual Running of the Bull in Dewey Beach took place July 13, and drew the usual huge crowds.

The kids’ version was, once again, held on the New Orleans Street beach as families gathered to enjoy a fun dance party for the children where mascots turned up and danced the hokey pokey with enthusiastic children. Kids hula hooped, got free T-shirts, and eventually, when the bull came up over the dunes, ran in their own bull run.

Mike McDonnell, one of the founders of the Running of the Bull, said he enjoys the kids' version, noting, “Some of the original runners now have kids who participate in the run!” The kids’ run is sponsored by The Starboard Restaurant, Alley Oop, and The Dewey Business Partnership, which all work together to bring the family event to the beach.

In a much safer version from the Pamplona original of the adult Running of the Bull, two men don a bull costume and chase a crowd of eager runners down Dewey Beach until they eventually circle back and reach the Starboard. There, the bull faces off in a showdown with the matador and they fumble and fight in a quirky event that culminates in the “death” of one of the fighters.

This year, the matador, played by Dewey Beach staple Jay Bird,reigned victorious when he lured the bull with a bucket full of cold beer. The bull, being distracted, did not see his fatal blow coming from the matador and swiftly met his end. The crowd, decked out in red and white and ranging from the classic to the flamboyantly garbed, cheered and raised their arms.

This imaginative spectacle also raises a lot of money for a good cause. The Running of the Bull benefits the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company and the Dewey Beach Police Department. In years past, the event has drawn in more than $40,000 for these causes, and this year proved to be no exception.

The planning and execution on this event, which is coordinated between The Starboard, the Dewey Beach Police, the Dewey Beach Patrol, DelDOT and the Town of Dewey Beach is impressive; even with the large crowds the event went off without a hitch!

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