Running of the Bull returns to Dewey Beach June 23

Proceeds benefit Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company
June 10, 2018

Twenty-two years ago, the Spice Girls were topping the charts, dial-up internet was all the rage, and the Running of the Bull was a just group of friends in white T-shirts at The Starboard being chased by another one of their friends in a bull costume. While the Spice Girls and dial-up internet are things of the past, it’s good to know that some things just get better with age. The Running of the Bull is turning 22 this year, and it’s going to be an epic event in Dewey Beach Saturday, June 23.

Attendees can buckle up their beer goggles, affix their red bandanas and get their white T-shirts ready for this quirky celebration. Steve “Monty” Montgomery, owner of the Starboard, says, “This is the day everyone talks about year-round. ‘When is the bull run date?’ is the question we get asked the most. It’s without a doubt the silliest promotion you’ll ever see, and it’s taken so darn seriously!”

The Running of the Bull is a phenomenon all its own. While meant to imitate the dress and spirit of Pamplona, over the years, the Bull Run and subsequent fight to the death have taken on a life all their own.

Michael McDonnell, founder of the original Bull Run, said, “You can come to this event to pay tribute to the Festival of San Fermin and Hemingway’s famous depictions of Pamplona. You can come to embrace this bacchanalian ritual celebrating the animalistic nature of summer. You can even just come to revel in the pure silliness with your friends, an often-needed release in these times of turmoil and angst. But no matter why you come, remember ... comfortable shoes, sunscreen, Gold Bond, and a buttload of ibuprofen.”

It goes something like this: everyone comes dressed to the hilt in either the classic Pamplona red and white, or Ernest Hemingway attire, or other choice themed outfits. Libations are ceremoniously consumed.

At high noon, the crowd assembles for music and revelry, and about 2 p.m., they are loosed for the official run, where the Bull (two men in a bull costume) chases them through the streets, onto the beach and back to the Starboard. And back at the Starboard, the brave matador enters the ring where he and the bull fight to the bitter end. Throughout the day, everyone will enjoy wonderful company, Kristen and The Noise, and all the ambiance they’ve come to expect from the Starboard. Even Slapshot from the Washington Capitals is expected to make an appearance this year.

While it all seems like fun and games (because it is mostly fun and games), like most Starboard events, the day has a benevolent bent as well. Over its 22-year span, the event has raised tens of thousands of dollars for various organizations. This year’s Bull Run will once again benefit the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company. This fundraising element is the icing on the cake for Montgomery. He says, “We love that we have such a well-established weekend that people count on as part of their summer tradition. But also, contributing to the well-being of the community is what really leaves us with the best feeling.”

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