Every year for the last 20 years, the Starboard Restaurant in Dewey Beach has hosted the quirkiest event this side of Mississippi: The Running of the Bull. While last year's 20th anniversary event may have seemed like a milestone, Starboard owner Steve "Monty" Montgomery says that the bull reaching the age of 21 is really something to celebrate!
"Finally, our bull can enjoy his first, legal ice-cold Bud Light with all his friends," says Montgomery.
Michael McDonnell, founder of the Running of the Bull, is as proud as any father could be when his child turns 21. He says, "We're very proud. It seems like just yesterday he turned 16 and could drive, and he'd steer that used Cowsler convertabull all over town, the one he'd been saving for with money from his lawn mooing job. Then he turned 18 and could vote (he's a fiscally cowservative but socially libuller). And now he can finally enjoy refreshing adult beeferages. He's really grown up!"
For the occasion, the bull is even getting his own weekend in the form of a new date. In the past the Running of the Bull has coincided with its European counterpart, the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. But since its inception, the event has grown to such proportions that it now stands alone.
This year, Montgomery wanted to help alleviate the traffic that comes with hosting the event so close to July Fourth weekend, and work with the town of Dewey Beach to increase events in June. The Running of the Bull will take place Saturday, June 24, this year, marking the first time it will be held in June.
Patrons will pack the Starboard to the gills as they don their best Pamplona-inspired garb. One thing everyone loves about the Starboard's events is the opportunity to strut their stuff in style. People go all out, wearing everything from the classic white T-shirt and red bandana to Ernest Hemingway costumes and beyond. As the day winds along, the bull (two people sweating it out in the heat in a bull costume) will make his appearance. Around 2 p.m., the chase is on as the bull riles up the crowd and chases them down the street and onto the beach. The run ends back at the Starboard where the matador mounts the challenge of trying to defeat the bull.
Participants never know who might ultimately win the arena-style battle, but perhaps this year a little birthday luck will be on the bull's side. In the past, the matador has resulted to some tricky tactics to take the fight - luring the bull with a bucket of beer, or distracting him with Elvis. Ultimately, the winner is anyone's guess.
While people partake in the festivities, the Bull Run is also a major fundraising event for the Starboard. The proceeds go to the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Department. Over the years, the event has raised tens of thousands of dollars.
This is the year to attend for those who have never experienced a Running of the Bull. With the new date, and the birthday boy being able to legally kick back drinks, the party atmosphere will be palpable. For more information, go to thestarboard.com.