Local Traditions Abound for the Fourth 

The beach towns of Delaware will be celebrating Fourth of July with lots of flair, all day long and culminating in several fireworks shows in the area. Here’s a guide and viewing recommendations.  

Planning your visit is wise, since the annual events draw large crowds. There will be several temporary road closures to ensure the safety of all, including pedestrians, bicyclists and those who choose to battle for limited parking. 

The 4th of July is not just about fireworks, however. There are also parades, plenty of live music and family-friendly activities throughout southern Delaware to enjoy.   

Here are the highlights.  

Lewes, July 4th  

  • 9am – 12pm: Kids’ vintage games on Second Street (blocked off from traffic)  
  • 9 am: DQ Dash, a 5K race that raises money for Go Fourth Lewes to fund the city’s annual fireworks display. 
  • 1:30pm – 2pm: Annual Independence Day Boat Parade on the canal. Boats depart from Roosevelt Inlet on the canal, and the parade ends at Fisherman’s Wharf and the Savannah Road bridge by the judging stand. This festive and patriotic event can be seen from several locations along the waterfront. 
  • 5pm: Annual Doo-Dah Parade – Lewes’s popular and whimsical tradition for generations. The parade starts adjacent to Lloyd’s Market on Savannah Road, continues to King’s Highway, then winds through 2nd Street and returns to Lloyd’s via Savannah Road.  
  • Go Fourth Lewes Fireworks by the Lewes Beach at dusk. Note: this is not a municipal sponsored event. It is funded through private and area business donations large and small. More information about “Go Fourth Lewes” is found at gofourthlewes.org, including road closure information, tips on where to best see the display, restrooms, etc. 

Rehoboth Beach, Saturday, July 6 

  • The annual fireworks display, visible from the boardwalk and mile-long beach is expected to begin at 9:30 pm. (Note: depending on weather conditions, the show can start as early as 8am, so it is recommended to arrive much earlier.) 
  • Expect road closures, parking restrictions and plenty of traffic. City of Rehoboth Beach visitor information is your resource for more information. 
  • Consider using DART for transportation in and out of Rehoboth, as parking is anticipated to be difficult. DART’s website lists the schedule and explains the alternative drop off point at the Henlopen Hotel (instead of the bandstand). 
  • Live music will be performed at the bandstand before and after the fireworks.  

Bethany Beach, July 4th  

  • Bethany Beach’s Annual Independence Day Parade begins at Noon. This year’s theme is a celebration of its 40th anniversary. Tee shirts are available for purchase in advance of the 4th at the bandstand public concerts. The parade features several marching ensembles, floats and decorated bikes.  
  • 7:15 pm: Parade awards presentation at the bandstand area  
  • 7:30 pm: Free concert at the town bandstand  
  • Dusk: Fireworks display, visible from the beach (fireworks are dependent on beach conditions).

Dewey Beach, July 4th  

  • 9 pm – 10 pm: fireworks display   
  • Display is launched from a barge on Rehoboth Bay, two blocks from Rusty Rudder and is best visible bayside, but also throughout most locations in town.  
  • Driving is very limited. Using DART or the Jolley Trolley is highly recommended. 

Ocean City, MD, July 4th 

  • 8 pm: Live music in two locations. Downtown: N Division Street; Uptown: Northside Park, 125th Street  
  • 9:30 pm: Fireworks display visible from the beach.  


  • July 3rd, 7 pm: Free concert by 287th Army Band, “Delaware’s Own,” Memorial Park. Music featured is New Orleans style and Rock. Bring your lawn chair. 
  • 10 am – 2 pm: Annual 4th of July Festival downtown. Family friendly with kids’ games, dunk tanks, sack races, bike decorating contest and plenty of entertainment. This year’s theme is “Bring Mayberry Back to Milton.”  

Whatever event(s) you choose to attend, enjoy our nation’s birthday celebration safely. 

By Bridget FitzPatrick, Resident Journalist

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