It’s here - Fourth of July weekend in the Cape Region. Locals and visitors are celebrating Independence Day with parades, events, games, barbecues and, of course, fireworks.
As is tradition, most area municipalities will host events. In Lewes, there’s something to do from the early morning until well after dark. Toward the end of the day is the annual Doo-Dah Parade. Starting as a spontaneous celebration more than 50 years ago, the event is now an unofficial official occasion, meaning it’s expected, and the streets of Lewes are lined with people waiting for the ever-growing parade to pass by.
For the first time last year, the city required organizers to file an application to hold the event. The children of founders Phyllis Hoenen and Carolyn Shockley formed an LLC to keep the legacy alive. The group paid for the application and purchased liability insurance with the help of friends.
In advance of this year’s parade, the group started a GoFundMe to cover the associated costs. As of June 13, it had raised $1,830 and exceeded the fundraising goal. The parade group is working with the Greater Lewes Foundation. The fundraiser will remain open until July 15, and any leftover money will be donated to the Cape Community Fund.
To learn more about the fundraiser, go to gofundme.com/f/lewes-doo-dah-parade.
In addition to Lewes’ traditional parade, there are a number of other Fourth of July events. Here’s what’s on tap in the region.
The annual Independence Day fireworks in Rehoboth Beach are set to go off around 9:30 p.m., Sunday, July 2. The Funsters will kick off the celebration at 8 p.m. with a performance at the Bandstand.
Several road closures will be implemented to facilitate entry into and exit from Rehoboth Beach:
- Beginning at 6 p.m., the Bandstand area will be closed to vehicular traffic until midnight; at 7 p.m., only bus traffic and residents will be permitted on Henlopen and Surf avenues
- After 7:30 p.m., vehicles will not be able to cross Rehoboth Avenue at the traffic circle
- Beginning at 8 p.m., Rehoboth Avenue eastbound and Church Street from Route 1 will be closed to vehicular traffic. At that point, all vehicles entering Rehoboth Beach will have to do so using State Road to Bayard Avenue
- Beginning at 7 p.m., residents on Henlopen Avenue, and in Henlopen Acres and North Shores must access their residences using Second Street
- After the fireworks, vehicles north of Rehoboth Avenue will be directed to exit using Rehoboth and Columbia avenues. Vehicles on the south side of Rehoboth Avenue will use Bayard Avenue to Route 1 southbound only, or Hickman or Munson streets to State Road to Route 1 north- and southbound.
DART and Jolly Trolley will provide service into Rehoboth Beach on revised schedules/routes the evening of July 2.
Fourth of July in Lewes will offer a bevy of fun and games for all ages, starting with the Old-Fashioned Children’s Games at 9 a.m. on Second Street. An Independence Day Boat Parade will start at 1:30 p.m., with judging at Fisherman’s Wharf.
The Annual Doo-Dah Parade will step off in the vicinity of Lloyd's Market at 5 p.m., and the Go Fourth fireworks celebration will blast off at dusk from a barge off Lewes Beach. Call 302-645-8073 or go to leweschamber.com or gofourthlewes.org for more information.
Go Fourth fireworks organizers encourage attendees to arrive early to find parking. There will be no parking along Savannah Road and Cape Henlopen Drive.
Bridges to Lewes Beach will be closed to eastbound traffic for safety and traffic control. Pedestrians, bicycles and outbound/westbound traffic will be able to use the bridges. The Savannah Road bridge will close to vehicular traffic at 7 p.m. The Freeman Highway bridge will close to vehicular traffic at 8 p.m. Lewes Beach residents wishing to use the bridge after 7 p.m. should use Freeman Highway. No one will be permitted to watch the fireworks from the bridge.
Vehicles will be held for at least a half-hour following the fireworks show to allow pedestrians and cyclists to leave. Lewes Beach traffic will go directly out on Savannah Road after the show. There will be no turns onto Gills Neck Road, Pilottown Road and Kings Highway, to keep traffic moving efficiently. Cape Henlopen Drive traffic will leave via Freeman Highway.
The Lewes Line will cease operations at 7 p.m.
A rain date of Wednesday, July 5 is set.
For more information or to donate toward next year’s show, go to gofourthlewes.org.
Fireworks will light the sky over Rehoboth Bay to celebrate Independence Day in Dewey Beach Tuesday, July 4, as has been tradition in recent years.
Highway One Companies President Alex Pires has sponsored the annual fireworks display since 2013. It is typically launched from a barge in the bay in front of Northbeach/Ivy, two blocks north of the Rusty Rudder, and visible throughout town.
The Milton Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Bring Mayberry Back to Milton festival in Memorial Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, July 4.
This festival is free for all to attend and will feature entertainment, food, games, dunk tanks, water balloon fights, pie-eating contests, train rides and more. For updates, go to historicmilton.com under Events.
Paradise Grill in Long Neck will celebrate Independence Day Sunday, July 2, with performances by the Fabulous Greaseband from 2 to 6 p.m. and Garden State Radio from 7 to 11 p.m. The event will also feature a fireworks show. On July 4, Kristen and the Noise will perform from 6 to 10 p.m.