Cape Gazette

Tuesday Editorial

Holidays a time for patience, common sense

Jul 08, 2013

The July Fourth holiday arrived in the Cape Region bringing with it the hottest temperatures of the sum­mer. The heat brought visitors by the tens of thousands - an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 in Rehoboth Beach alone.

But it also brought the season’s first jellyfish and plenty of hot tempers as people rushed to pack as much as possible into the weekend.

Braving temperatures that had reached 83 degrees by 7:30 a.m., hundreds of people arrived in Rehoboth earlier than usual on July Fourth for a rally to honor veterans and cel­ebrate independence.

City officials had at first denied a related re­quest to hold a series of church services at the Bandstand, but they relented for an assembly billed as a Freedom Rally and sensibly issued a permit.

That was enough to avert political fire­works, just in time for a spectacular pyrotech­nic display that lit up the night sky, this year mirrored by a similar extravaganza in Dewey Beach.

No one will deny that, during the four days of the holiday weekend, traffic was, quite simply, a nightmare, punctuated by a fatal crash south of Dewey Beach.

An older couple walking home from the fireworks was struck by a 25-year-old driver charged with DUI, a tragic and life-changing night for all three people.

Even a single accident is too many; still, with tens of thousands of visitors flooding the area, state and local police and beach patrols kept the highways and beaches near-perfectly safe, maintaining order as people tempted fate by crossing highways in the wrong places, set­ting off illegal fireworks and swimming with the just-arrived jellyfish.

For visitors as well as residents, if there’s one survival tip for July Fourth and any other summer weekend, it’s wherever you go, pack your patience and bring along some common sense.

Summer heat brings people to the beach and jellyfish to our waters. Both are relatively easy to avoid and neither stay very long.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Barry Wayne Price | Jul 11, 2013 06:52

How many is too many? The growing popularity of Delaware's beaches continues to grow. This July 4th saw increasing numbers beyond our expectations. How can our meager superstructure safely handle the overnight population boom? Questions that need to be answering. My fear is that should an evacuation have to take place, how could we possibly manage it during a major weekend, or even on any given summer day?

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The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.