New season brings other changes

As the heat of Indian summer fades and the first autumn leaves begin to fall from the trees, more changes in Delaware’s beach communities than simply the number of cars on the road and how much skin is covered by the average attire.

In Bethany Beach, mid-September marks the time to bid farewell to the town’s parking meters and the need for visitors to scrounge for quarters if they wish to park their cars. The meters officially go off-line after Sept. 15.

Similarly, Fenwick Island lifts its requirement for parking permits following Sept. 15.

The towns’ lifeguards, too, call it a summer shortly after Labor Day.

The Bethany Beach Patrol shifts to weekend-only coverage after the end-of-summer holiday, and the whistles their season to a close after the final weekend of the month — that’s Sunday, Sept. 25, this year.

The Fenwick Island Beach Patrol moves its lifeguard stands away from the surf for the last time last time on the second weekend after the end-of-summer holiday — that’s Sunday, Sept. 17, in 2005.

Canine beachgoers and their human escorts will be able to get their paws sandy again in just two weeks. Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island both lift prohibitions on dogs on the beach on the first day of October.

In Bethany, that date also means man’s best friend can take a stroll on the boardwalk once again.

The town’s restriction on boardwalk biking was also set to lift this week — a doubly handy option since the town shuttle ceased its seasonal operation after Labor Day.

The pace of life at the beach — and its debris — both become more leisurely in the autumn.

Fenwick Islanders will go from two trash pick-up days per week (Monday and Thursday) to a Monday-only pickup when November arrives. Residents of Bethany Beach will also lose one weekly pickup as of Sept. 30, with trash collection on Monday and Friday only, townwide.

Post-season spring cleaning takes on an autumnal feel in both towns, with pickup of large or heavy items taking place earlier this week in Fenwick Island and set for Oct. 18 through Oct. 29 in Bethany Beach.

Some towns’ water systems will also get a seasonal cleaning, with hydrant flushing traditionally taking place in Bethany Beach in mid-October, while Selbyville will flush its hydrants in the coming week, Sept. 19 through Sept. 23.

Finally, if residents of Fenwick Island are having some noisier days of late, it may be because the town’s ban on pile driving lifted at the end of August. The rhythmic bang of beachside construction is allowed once again now that school is back in session and summer vacation is but a fond memory.