Sussex County Delaware

Crackling Fourth
in Sussex County
American Flag
Events ...

Huge Crowds Beat Heat
for Parades, Fireworks
Bethany Beach Fourth of July

Photo: New York City firefighters Jim Flanagan and Mike McMenemon served as grand marshalls of Bethany Beach's annual Fourth of July parade.

Bethany Beach Parade Video

The annual Bethany Beach Fourth of July celebrations took on special meaning this year with two New York City firefighters, Jim Flanigan and Mike McMenemon, serving as Grand Marshalls.

This Fourth meant more than usual to residents and visitors all over Sussex County as they engaged in parades, watermelon seed spitting contests, and watched fireworks displays.

Bethany's annual parade was particularly poignant for holiday revelers as Flanigan and McMenemon, decked out in full ceremonial uniform despite the brutal 90-degree heat, received a warm welcome from the thousands who lined Pennsylvania and Atlantic avenues for the 90-minute parade.

As always, the parade featured dignitaries from around the state and surrounding municipalities, floats, bands and more than 1,000 kids riding decorated bicycles.

The night was capped off by one of Bethany's best fireworks shows ever. With perhaps as many as 50,000 lining the beach and boardwalk, the show lasted for more than 20 minutes and featured a spectacular grand finale.

In Laurel, an upset marked the annual watermelon seed spitting contest as Blades Mayor B.J. Hardin dethroned defending champion Joe Conaway, the mayor of Bridgeville.

Hardin won the contest with a spit of 24 feet, 10 inches, while Conaway finished second with a spit of 24 feet, 7 inches. Delmar Mayor John McDonnell came in third at 21 feet, 10 inches.

Also in the contest were Laurel Mayor Garret Pusey, Georgetown Mayor Ed Lester, and Seaford Councilman Ron McArthur.

Fourth of July celebrations were also held in Slaughter Beach and in Dagsboro at the Dagsboro Church of God.

There are still two more Fourth-related events to be held in the county this weekend.

On Saturday, July 6, Oak Orchard will hold its annual Independence Day Celebration with a parade at 10 a.m., talent show at 1 p.m., live entertainment at 2 p.m., and food and games throughout the day. Proceeds benefit the Oak Orchard Boys & Girls Club.

On Sunday, July 7, Rehoboth Beach will launch its annual fireworks display at 9 p.m. The fireworks will be launched from a barge off Rehoboth Avenue.

There will be live entertainment on the bandstand from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Shuttle bus service will be available from the Rehoboth Outlets beginning at 6 p.m. Call 227-2772 for more information.

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