July Fourth – a celebration of America’s independence and often a day full of fun with family and friends – is next Tuesday.
With AAA Mid-Atlantic expecting around 14% of Delaware’s population to be traveling, here’s what to know about Independence Day in the First State:
AAA predicts 142,000 Delawareans will travel at least 50 miles over the weekend, up more than 4% from last year and setting a new record for the holiday.
Almost 88% of travelers – or more than 125,000 Delawareans – will be hitting the road for the holiday. Air travel is up nearly 11% over last year, with AAA projecting more than 10,000 Delawareans to fly to their holiday destination.
The agency states travel by other modes of transportation, which was slowest to recover from the pandemic, is up nearly 24% over last year, with more than 7,000 Delawareans traveling via train, bus or boat.
The best and worst times to drive are:
If you are anxious about driving around Delaware, you can check road conditions by looking at the Delaware Department of Transportation’s real-time traffic cameras. Find them DelDOT.gov or the DelDOT mobile app.
DelDOT encourages visitors to the Sussex beaches to buy a three-zones daily pass for $10, which can also be used on all beach bus services.
Weather for July 4th weekend
A beautiful Saturday morning is expected in the First State, but thunderstorms could roll in after 2 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. The day will have partly sunny skies, with a high near 84 and a 50% chance of precipitation. Temperatures will fall to 70 as the storms come later in the day.
Sunday morning could have some showers before 8 a.m. and then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. The day will be mostly cloudy, with a high of 88 and a 40% chance of rain. The temp will drop to 70 at night.
Monday will be mostly sunny, again with a high of 88, with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms. The low is 69 degrees.
Tuesday, July 4, has a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, but it will be mostly sunny, with a high near 89 and a low of 71.
- Disc golf courses are at White Clay State Park in Newark ($4 per vehicle), Canby Park in Wilmington (free admission), Iron Hill in Newark (free admission), Lums Pond State Park in Bear ($4 per vehicle), Bellevue State Park in North Wilmington ($4 per vehicle) and Brandywine Creek State Park in Greenville (free admission). Like traditional golf, disc golf is 18 holes using frisbees. The course typically takes about an hour to two hours to complete.
- Paintball: For those seeking an action-packed adventure, paintball is an ideal choice. Check out Paintball Action Games in Newark. It costs $60 per person, although there is a 25% off for July with code “July25.” Call 302-753-5151 or click here to register.
- Farm picking: Spend time with the family learning about crops, sustainable farming and the importance of supporting local agriculture. Pick fresh produce to bring home and eat. Fifer Orchards in Wyoming has blackberry pickings, and a quart costs $6.95 and a bucket costs $22.95.
- Fly high with zip-lining. Go Ape Zipline is inside Lums Pond State Park in Bear. Participants get a full instructional session before spending two to three hours in action. Book a time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Gloves must be brought in by an individual, and there is a $4 park entrance fee.
- Dover’s 4th of July Celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Legislative Hall. Along with fireworks later in the day, the event includes family activities, vendors, music and a patriotic parade.
- Bethany Beach’s 4th of July Parade starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Several members of the military will be in attendance and speaking. Register and find parking details here.
- 2023 Independence Day in Lewes starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday with old-fashioned games for children on Second Street, including a three-legged race, egg toss, spoon race, barrel roll and hula hoop contest. Before fireworks at dusk, there’s also a “unique and quirky Doo-Dah Parade” at 5 p.m. that forms in the vicinity of Lloyd’s Market on Savannah Road and winds its way down Kings Highway to Second Street and ends on Savannah Road, heading back towards Lloyds.
- Bethany Beach’s holiday celebration is “the biggest party of the year.” The fun starts with a 5K run/walk on Sunday, July 2. On the Fourth, there’s a parade at noon featuring floats (the theme is “Sand & Sea in ’23”), bands, motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. Parade awards will be announced at the bandstand at 7:15 p.m., followed by a concert at 7:30 and the fireworks at dusk.
- Dewey Beach gets fireworks on the Fourth, thanks to businessman Alex Pires.
- The Dover Fourth of July Celebration this year begins on Saturday, July 1 when First State Heritage Park presents the holiday as celebrated in the late 1800s, with lawn games, live music and other activities. There will be walking tours, and the Declaration of Independence will be read out from the steps of the Old State House at 2 p.m., just as it was in July 1776. The events on July 4 start at 10 a.m. with working tours of the park, and the declaration is read again at 2 p.m. Artisans and food vendors will be operating by 4 p.m. A parade starts at 6 p.m. on Park Drive, and it heads west on Loockerman Street, turns left on State Street and terminates at Water Street. A DJ starts spinning at 6:30 p.m., with fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
- The Hockessin Fourth of July Festival and Fireworks includes neighborhood relays and a field day in the morning, a parade in the afternoon and the fireworks at dusk on July 4. The fireworks can be seen all over Hockessin, the website says, with the main viewing from Swift Park, Piedmont Baseball Fields, Hockessin Library and Artesian Soccer Fields. The 5k for Fireworks kicks off the festivities on Thursday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hockessin Athletic Club. Signups are at run signup.com, with all proceeds going to the Hockessin 4th of July fireworks, according to Rep. Mike Smith, who’s organizing sponsors at [email protected].
- Laurel’s 29th annual 4th of July Celebration begins at 3 p.m. July 4, at Janosik Park on Front Street. Events include a cornhole tournament, live bands, a car show, a parade starting at 7 p.m and fireworks at dusk.
- Lewes’ Go Fourth fireworks starts at dusk on July 4. The Lewes Chamber of Commerce said children’s activities start at 9 a.m., and there will also be a boat parade and a “quirky” Doo-Dah Parade at “approximately” 5 p.m. starting near Lloyd’s Market on Savannah Road.
- Newark’s Liberty Day and Fourth of July Fireworks runs 6-10 p.m. July 4 at the University of Delaware athletic complex on South College Avenue.
- Rehoboth Beach’s fireworks are set to begin around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 2. The 20-minute display will be visible along the beach and boardwalk. Downtown traffic restrictions start at 6:30 p.m. The Funsters will perform at the bandstand beginning at 8 and again after the fireworks display.
- The Smyrna/Clayton July 4th Foundation is the host of Delaware’s oldest-running fireworks, at dusk on July 4, across from Smyrna High, with a parade at 9:30 that morning.
- Wilmington hosts fireworks at 9:15 p.m. on July 4, synchronized to music, with the good viewing locations in Tubman-Garrett Park and other Riverfront locations. Free activities begin that afternoon at the park, including tours of the Kalmar Nyckel, art-making tent, pony rides, a petting zoo, live music, mini train rides, sports and games, gardening and flowerpot-making, balloon art and face painting. Food and merchandise vendors will be onsite. Rain date is July 5 for fireworks only. The city’s calendar links to cityfest.
- The Wilmington Blue Rocks will sponsor fireworks after Friday home games on June 16, June 23, July 7, July 21, Aug. 4 and Aug. 31, plus Sunday, Sept. 3.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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