Recognizing Rehoboth Boardwalk a no-brainer

April 7, 2023

The Boardwalk is the centerpiece of Rehoboth Beach. From hot summer nights to the freezing winter afternoon of Polar Plunge weekend, hundreds of thousands of people have used and enjoyed the mile-long beachside walkway from Surf Avenue to Prospect Street. 

There are few, if any, features in Rehoboth Beach that deserve historic recognition more than the Boardwalk. The city’s beach and boardwalk committee is trying to find the best way to acknowledge the impact of the Boardwalk on the city. There are three ways to make it happen: a historic marker from Delaware Public Archives, or recognition at the federal level as a supporting structure or as a national historic landmark.

The easiest route may be a marker from Delaware Public Archives, which does a phenomenal job of celebrating and appreciating Delaware’s history. In the April 4 edition, we featured a Delaware Public Archives photograph of the Easter Promenade, a former long-standing Rehoboth Beach tradition. In this event that lasted more than 50 years before its demise shortly after the turn of the century, Sussex County residents put on their Easter Sunday best and gathered on the Boardwalk. Contests were held and people enjoyed a festive afternoon together. 

That tradition has been replaced with many others such as Fourth of July fireworks, an event where anyone would be hard-pressed to find a square inch of open Boardwalk at Rehoboth Avenue and for several blocks in each direction. 

Since it was built in 1873, the Boardwalk has been the site of many events. In recent memory, it’s hosted several walks to raise awareness of diseases and medical conditions, or to support organizations that do important work, such as Special Olympics Delaware. 

Countless competitive races are run on the Boardwalk each year, from 5Ks and 10Ks to the Dave Reynolds Biathlon and the Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon. 

And for all the events that grace the Boardwalk, they pale in comparison to the lifelong memories made by families vacationing in the Nation’s Summer Capital – those who enjoy ice cream, French fries or pizza, play games at Funland or take an early morning stroll or bike ride with loved ones. 

It may have taken the proposed wind farms off the coast to spur action, but the Boardwalk is integral to the city. Rehoboth Beach wouldn’t be the same without it. Recognizing its historic significance is a no-brainer. 


  • Editorials are considered and written by Cape Gazette Editorial Board members, including Publisher Chris Rausch, Editor Jen Ellingsworth, News Editor Nick Roth and reporters Ron MacArthur and Chris Flood. 

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