Rehoboth Beach’s historic tradition of Piping Out the Summer on Labor Day with a joyous musical parade on the Boardwalk is again being led by the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society and Museum.
Revelers with musical instruments of any and all varieties are asked to gather on the Boardwalk at 5:30 p.m., Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6, in front of the Henlopen Hotel. The ensemble will then proceed to pipe out down the Boardwalk to the Bandstand. The historical society is providing kazoos for people without their own instruments.
Piping Out the Summer originated in the mid- to late 1950s with the late bandleader and trombonist Sammy Ferro, whose orchestra played for dances held at the old Henlopen Hotel. After the last dance of the summer on Labor Day, Ferro would take his band to the boards, followed by his audience, and then lead a spontaneous musical parade down the Boardwalk to the vicinity of Rehoboth Avenue.
This year, musician John Witmer, who is helping organize the event, plans to play Sammy’s own trombone, which is part of the museum’s collection of historic objects.
Ferro was also a radio announcer in Washington, D.C., and an enthusiastic promoter of Rehoboth Beach, and on his programs he would regularly talk up Rehoboth Beach as a fun vacation destination. “Piping Out was his own unique contribution to making Rehoboth a fun experience,” said Nancy Alexander, museum director.
The tradition temporarily ended when the hotel was destroyed in the Storm of 1962, but was started up again when the new hotel was completed in the early 1970s. Cape Gazette archives show that Ferro led the Piping Out until 1999, when his heart began to weaken. He died Nov. 6, 2001, at the age of 87.
Reservations are not needed.
For more information, go to rehobothbeachmuseum.org or call 302-227-7310.