Bear Trap parade establishes identity

More than 200 people participated in the community-based Bear Trap Fourth of July parade last year, and that number is expected to grow on Tuesday. Starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, the fourth annual Bear Trap parade won’t even last an hour and will not try to compete with the Bethany Beach affair, which has transformed into a gigantic occasion in the last decade.
Coastal Point • FILE PHOTO: Last year’s parade was received warmly.Coastal Point • FILE PHOTO:
Last year’s parade was received warmly.

“Bethany is a great parade; but with Bear Trap’s, it is a tighter-knit family,” said Natalie Parsons, Bear Trap’s pavilion manager, who assumed organizational duties for Bear Trap’s annual even this year. “You’ll know more people in the parade. You’ll see more people that you know here. It is very local-oriented.”

While United States dignitaries such as Rep. Mike Castle will grace Bethany Beach with their presence on Tuesday, Ocean View’s Police Chief Ken McLaughlin and Mayor Gary Meredith will tour the Bear Trap parade in convertibles.

Each street in Bear Trap will have a banner and a following in the parade, and the Millville Fire Company plans to participate. The steel-drum band from the Southern Delaware School of the Arts will also march in Tuesday’s Bear Trap parade and provide additional entertainment afterward.

And local children and adults will vie for awards such as the “most patriotic” and Mr. and Miss Bear Trap.

“I love kids,” said the 21-year-old parade organizer. “And I thrive off the energy kids put out. This is a very family-oriented environment. This is a big, big thing — especially for the youngsters.”

A multi-talented singer/entertainer/disc jockey named Mario Rocco will handle most of the entertainment duties of the day, along with Steel the Show, a local favorite appearing at most celebrations.

A stilt-walker clown will march the parade and will be on hand afterward. Cub Scouts will be on hand, marching through Bear Trap streets next to horses and kids on bicycles vying for the “best decorated bike award.”

Antique police and fire vehicles will march alongside baton twirlers and local residents dressed up in red-white-and-blue outfits and carrying American flags, all celebrating the country’s birth in an ever-growing celebration.

“We’re trying to keep it as patriotic as possible,” said Bear Trap Social Committee Chairwoman Marcia Bonisas. “We’re trying to get it as big as possible. Every year it gets a little bigger.

“Anybody is invited to come. Anyone is invited to walk in the parade,” said Parsons, adding that the local fire company and police department are the biggest supporters of the all-local celebration. “We’re not trying to compete with (Bethany); we’d just like to offer another venue of entertainment.”