Let the countdown begin; Rehoboth’s Bandstand tree is in

Annual lighting and sing-along scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 24
November 15, 2023

Story Location:
Rehoboth Beach Bandstand
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

Rehoboth Beach has installed its holiday-season tree near the Bandstand – but it wasn’t easy, and it’s a bit smaller than anticipated.

Typically, installing the tree used for the city’s annual tree lighting and sing-along is a smooth process, and it started out that way this year, too. However, the process didn’t go exactly as planned, because the tree snapped in half when it was being lifted off the trailer.

As soon as the break happened, which could be heard hundreds of feet away, everyone involved with the install began evaluating options – try to reattach the two ends with a large splint, contact others who have volunteered to donate their trees, or use a different tree from the donors’ property.

In the end, the city, Delmarva Power and Harry Caswell decided the top portion of the tree was worth salvaging.

There were concerns about safety, said Lynne Coan, city spokesperson, when asked why a splint wasn’t used.

Prior to the install, just after the tree had been gently placed on the trailer, Caswell called it a “truckload of joy.”

“With all that’s going on in the world, this is going to bring us together in Rehoboth,” he said.

Caswell wasn’t happy, but he was generally still in good spirits watching the tree being installed.

“Once the star gets put on top, a few branches are stuffed back in to fill it out, and the lights are put on, no one will be able to tell,” he said. “It’s still a beautiful tree.”

Dean and Debbie Smith, who live outside Rehoboth, donated the tree. It was their second consecutive year to furnish the holiday adornment. It’s the first time in the event’s four-decade history that two trees have come from the same property.

Immediately after the tree broke, but before a decision had been made to use the top portion, Debbie said she was disappointed. However, she did laugh when told that not only are she and Dean the first people to donate two trees, they’re now also the first to have a tree break.

The annual tree lighting and sing-along is traditionally held on Black Friday, which this year is Friday, Nov. 24. The show is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. For event information, go to, or contact the communications department at 302-227-6181, Ext. 522 or

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