Running of the Bull takes over Dewey Beach

Actor Ryan Phillippe plays mascot in 23rd annual fundraiser
July 5, 2019

A 23-year Dewey Beach tradition continued June 29 when children and adults of all ages took to the street and beach for the Starboard’s annual Running of the Bull. A parody of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, the event kicked off at 10:30 a.m. with the eighth children’s beach run at Dagsworthy Avenue. 

Starboard owner Steve Montgomery said about 200 children jogged alongside Washington Capitals mascot “Slapshot,” Washington Nationals mascot “Screech,” the Starboard Shark and, of course, the bull itself.

Festivities at The Starboard began about noon with entertainment by Kristen and the Noise and an eight-jet flyover. “It was perfect timing with the jets and Kristen singing the national anthem before the bull run,” Montgomery said.

At 3 p.m., over 1,000 runners decked in signature colors red and white crossed the highway to the beach for the big run, followed by the main event - the bull fight starring actor and Delaware native Ryan Phillippe as matador. Montgomery said Phillippe has a place in Bethany Beach for the summer and has been spending a lot of time at The Starboard.

“He’s become part of our work family,” Montgomery said. “I was just kidding when I asked him if he wanted to be the matador, and he was into it! It was that simple.”

And Phillippe really played up his part, first leading the crowd in chants of “E-A-G-L-E-S” in homage to his favorite football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. Clad in a white T-shirt, straw hat with red sash, black matador capris and white Birkenstocks, Phillippe wasted no time in besting the beast. 

Montgomery said Phillippe told him all of his Hollywood friends want to come to next year’s run. “He said he loved watching everyone have so much fun,” Montgomery said. “It’s so different from Hollywood.”

Montgomery said The Starboard works closely with The Town of Dewey Beach, Dewey Beach Police, Delaware State Police, DelDOT, Rehoboth Volunteer Fire Company and Dewey Beach Lifeguards to run the event. Montogmery said the only issue occured when a Dewey seasonal officer fainted from heat exhaustion and an ambulance was called.

Montgomery said the sale of T-shirts and merchandise netted about $7,000 in donations for the Rehoboth Volunteer Fire Company. "To host an event for 23 years that brings so much fun to so many is pure joy for us all at The Starboard,” Montgomery said. “It’s silliness at its best, and we are proud to host something that provides so many smiles and cheers, and at the same time raises much-needed funds for our local Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Volunteer Fire Department."


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