Hurricane Arthur brings dazzling July Fourth
Arthur, the first hurricane of the season, threatened to wash out July Fourth celebrations throughout the Cape Region, as high winds and drenching rain downed limbs and flooded low-lying neighborhoods. Lewes officials quickly announced the morning’s boat parade and children’s games were canceled, while in Milton, a day of festivities was postponed until July 5. Meanwhile, in Rehoboth Beach, officials decided to bank on the weather forecast, which called for the storm to blow through by early afternoon. The city announced its annual fireworks extravaganza would go on as planned Friday night.
And go on it did. Friday’s hurricane washed away the haze and by evening made way for one of the most beautiful July Fourth weekends in memory. As soon as the sky cleared, the annual Doo-Dah Parade in Lewes got underway, as impromptu a display of exuberant patriotism as can be found anywhere in America, followed by unauthorized but impressive fireworks all along the coast of the Delaware Bay. Not to be outdone, Milton’s Bringing Mayberry Back to Milton celebration was delayed but delightful, with train rides, bicycle decorating, music in the park and plenty of home-baked pies. Traffic on Cape Region roads was bumper to bumper much of Friday and Saturday, but in the end, people appear to have safely reached their destinations in time to enjoy both the fireworks and the weekend’s exceptional weather.
Kudos to officials and visitors throughout the Cape Region for so effectively managing whatever the storm brought and communicating their plans. Special thanks to Rehoboth Main Street, Rehoboth Beach Police Department and other city departments and to incoming City Manager Sharon Lynn, whose first July Fourth came amid a new state-managed parking plan that raised questions even before the storm threatened.
Whatever the problems before the fireworks, by 4:30 a.m., July 5, nearly all trace of the thousands of people who thronged the beaches and Boardwalk had disappeared.
Like the ocean, unusually calm after the hurricane, Rehoboth’s beaches and Boardwalk were clean and peaceful, ready to welcome a spectacular new day.