Bethany planning 34th annual Independence Day celebration

The 34th annual Bethany Beach Fourth of July Parade will be held on Tuesday, July 4. The 2017 theme is “Bethany Beach Celebrates!” The parade committee is encouraging businesses, community organizations and families to get in on the fun by entering floats and compete for a variety of prizes.

Guidelines can be found on the Town’s website at, under Activities, Fourth of July. There is no pre-registration. Floats and bikes may be entered the day of the parade from 9 to 11:30 a.m., with floats registering at Route 1 and Central Avenue, and bikes at the Christian Church grounds. (Bike decorating kits will be distributed while supplies last.)

The official Bethany Beach Parade T-shirts will be on sale beginning May 27 at the Poseidon Festival kickoff at the bandstand. Other selling dates are from 9 a.m. to noon on the day of the parade, at the Seaside Craft Show on June 3 (Booth 132), and from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the bandstand concerts leading up to the Fourth of July.

The parade will begin at noon on July 4 at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Garfield Parkway and proceed 2 miles through downtown.

In addition to the floats, bikes and a procession of VIPs, there will be a combination of marching bands and bands on trucks, including: the 287th Army National Guard Band; Downtowners Fancy Brigade (mummers); Delmar District Pipe Band; 1st Delaware Regiment Fife & Drum Band; Tidewater Brass; 1st State Detachment Marine Corp League; Back Bay Strummers; Downtown Dixieland Band; German Oompah Band on horse-drawn wagon; Honeycombs; Paddlewheel Strutters.

Bethany Beach Police Department Sgt. Dean Sissler will be the grand marshal in 2017, in honor of his years of service as the Town’s seasonal police-officer-in-charge.

In an effort to protect children and bystanders, there will be no throwing of candy or other objects from the floats or vehicles.

At the bandstand at 2:30 p.m., attendees can participate in “Art Thou Smarter Than a Fifth Grader in Ben Franklin Trivia,” presented by Ben Franklin impersonator Brian Patrick Mulligan.

The parade award ceremony will take place on the bandstand at 7:15 p.m. Judging will take place before the parade begins.

Classic cover band Love Seed Mama Jump will go on at 7:30 p.m., providing the evening entertainment before the fireworks display.

Since the success of the parade depends heavily on the availability of police, EMTs and bands, there is no rain date. For updates, visit the Town’s website.