Sussex County is southern Delaware. The county is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, the west and south by Maryland, and to the north is Kent County, Delaware. Sussex County is about a 90-minute drive east from Washington, D.C. across the Chesapeake Bay.
By November, the fields of soy beans and corn have been harvested, giving southern Delaware an open country look. Though the summer beach crowds have left, Delaware keeps the fun times going with these annual events that draw residents and tourists alike.
Sussex County Return Day
During election years, Georgetown, Delaware, the county seat of Sussex County, sponsors a burying of the hatchet by the county election chairman. This symbolic gesture indicates no hard feelings following the elections. This biennial tradition started in the late-1700’s and is now a crowd-drawing event at the town circle in front of the court house in Georgetown.
The elected officials from the entire state of Delaware will converge on Georgetown to participate in the parade and festivities. Souvenir and food vendors line the parade route. You will certainly notice the aroma of roasted meat as one food vendor gives away, yes, free ox roast sandwiches.
Joe Biden, former Senator from Delaware, participated in the 2008 Return Day parade following his election as Vice President of the United States. In 2010, Return Day will be on November 4, rain or shine. Get the calendar of events, directions and other details about Return Day at their website here.
World Championship Punkin Chunkin
Back in 1986, some friends decided to see who among them could toss a pumpkin the furthest. What started with a few guys throwing pumpkins in a field has evolved to a world championship with thousands of people (estimated 20,000 in 2009) showing to participate or to watch the fun unfold. The event is held in a field in western Sussex County, Delaware, where teams of participants with extraordinary mechanical devices like a centrifugal, catapult or trebuchet, propel the 8 to 10 pound pumpkins through the air. One of the orange gourds traveled almost 4,500 feet before kissing the ground.
There’s also a chili cooking contest and lots of food vendors. Wear comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy (just in case it rains because the competition goes on, rain or shine). In 2010, punkin chunkin will be November 5 to 7. Visit the official World Championship Punkin Chunkin website here for ticket information and directions.
Rehoboth Beach Holiday Tree Lighting and Sing-Along
Moving to the beach…at Rehoboth on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, join the gang at the bandstand where the tree will be lit and Christmas carols will be sung. The festivities are from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. November at the beach can be chilly, so dress warmly. To add to the holiday fun, stroll along the streets and boardwalk to see the festive lights and maybe do some holiday shopping. In 2010, the tree lighting and sing-along with be November 26. Visit the Rehoboth Beach website here for directions and more information about holiday happenings in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, ReturnDay.org, World Championship Punkin Chunkin, Rehoboth, DE Holiday Events