Dewey prepares for stampede

Running of the Bull set for June 23
June 22, 2018

With the 22nd Running of the Bull set for Saturday, June 23, Dewey officials and The Starboard are prepared for a stampede of visitors.

Modeled after the festival of San Fermin held in Pamplona, Spain, each July, Dewey’s Bull Run does indeed include a bull (two men in a bull costume) chasing a crowd attired in red and white through the streets, beach and back to The Starboard, where the bull and matador stage a fight. Along the way, the crowd enjoys live entertainment and a few libations. 

The event has raised thousands of dollars for various organizations over the years; this year’s run will benefit the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company.

Dewey Town Manager Scott Koenig says the town is ready for increased crowds this long-standing event will attract. “We want people to have fun and return to Dewey time and again without causing problems,” Koenig said. “It’s a big event so people’s behavior plays a big role in the success of these kind of events.”

Koenig said The Starboard coordinates event logistics, working with town officials, Dewey Beach Police, Delaware State Police, the Rehoboth Volunteer Fire Company and Dewey Beach Patrol to ensure things run smoothly. 

During the day, Koenig said a police sergeant, a part-time officer, and four seasonal officers will be on duty; they will be supported by private security and Delaware State Police officers contracted by The Starboard. He said to his knowledge, the Delaware State Police Mounted Patrol will not be present for the Bull Run as they were on Memorial Day Weekend, when the town wanted to show a solid police presence.

“Most people step back when they see a horse,” he said in an earlier interview. “You have some others who feel obligated to stand up to the horse.  “It’s a large event but it doesn’t encompass the whole town like Memorial Day Weekend does,” he said. “It’s more localized and only for a few hours.”

A kid Bull Run and beach party takes place in the morning, adding a family-friendly component, Koenig said. “We hope the weather brings lots of people to Dewey and that they remain within the boundaries of the law so it’s a smooth and prosperous event for all,” he said. 

In the event they do not, Dewey’s holding cell bathroom wall has been repaired after a suspect broke through the wall May 27. Koenig said the town has received a quote for protective steel coating to reinforce the walls, which he expects to be installed in about a month.

Motorists should anticipate delays and increased pedestrians about 2 p.m., when northbound and southbound traffic on Route 1 will be stopped for approximately five minutes as runners leave The Starboard. The Delaware Department of Transportation has placed message boards on southbound Route 1 in the Forgotten Mile and on northbound Route 1 south of Route 26 advising motorists of delays associated with the event.