The First State has plenty of events and buffets for families to celebrate Thanksgiving.

What to expect for Thanksgiving 2023 in Delaware

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Culture

The First State has plenty of events and buffets for families to celebrate Thanksgiving.

The First State has plenty of events and buffets for families to celebrate Thanksgiving.

With almost 15% of First Staters expected to travel this weekend, here’s what to know about Thanksgiving travel, weather and more. 


AAA Mid-Atlantic, a regional travel agency, expects nearly 150,000 Delawareans to be traveling for theThanksgiving weekend, the third highest travel volume for the holiday since 2001.

91% of First State travelers, or 36,000 people, will be reaching their destination by driving. 

Here’s when the agency says are the best and worst times to travel this week:

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As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to travel early in the day or wait until nighttime to hit the road.

Gas prices have been on a steady decline this year, and the national average last Thanksgiving was $3.58 per gallon, which has dropped to $3.31 this year.

In Delaware, the average cost per gallon is $3.17, with Kent County averaging $3.18, followed by New Castle and Sussex at $3.17.

Drivers should also be cognizant of poor driving conditions, with Friday forecasts calling for rain and slick roads.


According to the National Weather Service, Wednesday will be windy with a high of 58 degrees and a 20% chance of rain, with temperature dropping to 35 degrees at night in the region.

Thanksgiving is expected to be sunny with a high of 53 degrees Clouds will roll in during the evening as the temperature drops to 37 degrees.

Friday has the highest chance of rain, with a 30% chance during the day and 40% chance at night. The cloudy day will have a high of 54 and a low of 41. 

Saturday and Sunday are expected to have some overcast skies with highs around 50 degrees and lows around 34 degrees.

Safety in the kitchen/on the road

With families cooking up feasts for the holiday,  the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office published a list of important fire safety tips: 

  • When cooking on the stovetop, be sure to stay in the kitchen, so you can monitor the food.
  • Be on alert. Do not leave the home when cooking your turkey and be sure to check on it often.
  • Children should stay three feet away from a hot stove.
  • Make sure there are no trip hazards on the floor and pot handles are turned in. Spilling hot liquids on skin can cause serious burn injuries.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire (towels, oven mitts, utensils, food packaging, etc.) away from your stovetop. If you have a small grease stovetop fire, slide a lid over the pan and turn off the burner, or use a fire extinguisher. Never use water, as it can cause the fire to spread. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
  • Be sure any electrical equipment cords are not dangling off the counter within a child’s reach.
  • Likewise, keep knives, matches and lighters away from children. Never leave children in the room unsupervised with a lit candle.
  • If your family will be frying a turkey this year, make sure your turkey fryer is outside, on a sturdy, level surface, and at least 10 feet away from your home (not under roof eaves).
  • An overfilled fryer will cause cooking oil to spill out when the turkey is put in. Before adding oil, test the amount of oil you need by filling your fryer with water instead. Place the turkey in the pot, making sure the water doesn’t get too close to the top. Measure the water and use that as a guide for filling the pot with oil.
  • A partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when you put it in the cooking pot. Make sure your turkey is fully thawed before you fry it.
  • If your turkey fryer does not have a thermostat, use a kitchen thermometer that attaches to the side of the pot. This will help you monitor the temperature of the oil. Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
  • Always use protective oven mitts. Keep children and pets at least three feet from the turkey fryer.

The Delaware Department of Transportation, as always, reminds folks to always wear a seatbelt, obey posted speed limits and do not drive aggressively or while distracted by a cellphone or something else.

Perhaps most importantly, they urge travelers to never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Thanksgiving events 

Wilmington’s MS Run

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is having its  45th Annual Thanksgiving Day MS Run in Wilmington. 

The event includes 10K and 5K runs, a 5K walk and a kiddie fun run.

After the run, participants and their families can enjoy refreshments and take photos with Santa. 

The organization’s goal is to raise $115,000 to go towards multiple sclerosis research and treatment. So far, the event has raised $23,480.

Register here.

Anchor Church Food Giveaway

Anchor Church in Milford is joining up with Calvary Church to deliver meals on Thanksgiving to the community.

To sign up to volunteer, click here.

Bethany-Fenwick Turkey Trot

Bethany Beach will host a 2-mile run from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Thursday. 

Attendees must register here, and pay $35 to participate. The course starts at Garfield Parkway and Atlantic Avenue. 

All funds will go towards supporting the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company

Pies will be awarded to the male and female winners, and runners are encouraged to wear Thanksgiving costumes to celebrate the holiday. 


Several places across the state are having buffets for families who would rather go out and save the hassle of cooking and doing piles of dishes. Most of them have a large time window, so families can go for either a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner.

Here are some:

  • Harry’s Savoy Grill & Ballroom in Wilmington will have feasting options from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost is $57.95 for adults and $19.95 for children under 12. There is a 22% gratuity fee included, and there’s also a la carte options available. Make reservations here.
  • Harvest Tide Steakhouse in Lewes has open reservations from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The cost is $59.99 for adults, $19 for children five to 12 and free for children younger than five. Make reservations here.
  • Le Cavalier in Wilmington will start serving food at 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving.  The menu is $75 per person, and gratuity is not included. Beverage pairings at the French restaurant will be available for a supplemental fee. Make reservations here.
  • Sirocco in Rehoboth Beach is seating folks from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Three-course meals start at $35 and are inspired by Southern European specialties. Make reservations here.
  • Hamilton’s on Main in Newark has reservations available starting at 11 a.m. The Thanksgiving brunch buffet is $49 per ticket for adults and $34 for people 16 and younger. Children younger than six eat free. Make reservations here.
  • The Clubhouse at Baywood in Millsboro is hosting a buffer from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $54 for adults and $24 for children 12 and under. Make reservations here.


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