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Lewes, Delaware
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November 6, 1998     Cape Gazette
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November 6, 1998

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Return Day Souvenir Edition E T Serving Delaware's Cape Region Return Day - Thursday, Nov. 5, 1998 Sussex County celebrates a biennial tradition People have traveled to Georgetown Schedule to hear election results since:t792 of events By Dennis Frney ington over the years, compiled a . . ,#,- ;- . . . _ . ,. Pohtclats!'peo#egf. history of RetnDay that was Sussex Couli[ V6been assem- published in the.bfficial brochure 9 a.m. to dusk - Food and craft bling for Return Day ever since for the event in 974. booths on The Circle and on North Georgetown was made the county Much of the l.torical informa- Bedford Street. seat in 1792. tion that followseomes from that 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Music On The Circle, hosted by Light FM's The form of the celebration, effort.  Ron Letterman of "The Road which always takes place on the Return Day as t{s celebrated in Home" program. First act: Aimee Thursday following election day, these times is f more ceremonial Parker, country. in all the even years, has changed than it was in tt ;earliest days of 9:45 a.m. - Sarah Canady, contem- considerably over the years. The our nation. In 776, Lewes was porary, Circle purpose of the day, however, has the county seat I ,rSussex County 10 a.m. - Kamika Wells, contem- pt porary, Circle; street dance with remained the same. The residents andei,ohfo: e and federal disc jockey Sky Brady on East of the county come to their county offices were  iaere in accor- Market St. next to Casapulla's seat to hear the election returns, to dance with riiles adopted in the 10:10 a.m.- Sussex Central's Take celebrate victories and to drown state's first constitution in 1776. II Drama Club performs selections the sorrow of defeat. Tradition People from western Sussex un- from "Welcome to Shakespeare's has many of the opposing candi- derstandably didn't cotton much Nightmare" and "A Midsummer's Night's Dream," Circle , dates riding together in horse- to traveling a whole day across 10:30 a.m.. "Monotones" ,. drawn carriages and convertible poor roads and in the unpre- place winner madrigal select automobiles in the Return Day pa- dictable weather of early Novem- Circle rade, while the leaders of the two ber to cast their ballots. 11 a.m. - Reception and lunche major political parties "bury the Georgetown, equidistant from for for candidates and honorei hatchet" on The Circle in George- all points in Sussex County, was guests, Delaware Technical and" town - signaling the end of the po- created in 1791 to satisfy those Community College; Music on Cir- litical season, complaints. A gentleman named cle continues with Third U.S. In- fantry (Old Guard) Fife and Drum In recent years, the Return Day George Mitchell was among the Corps celebration also has become the three men appointed to come up 11:30 a.m. - Delaware State single-most unifying event that with a location and layout for a Marching Band, Circle; Banjo takes place for all of Sussex new county seat. Surveyor Dusters, EastMarket Street County. One of the largest pa- Rhodes Shankland came up with Noon - Jim and Patty Jennette, country, Circle i redes held on the Delmarva Penin- the circle concept and laid out the 12:15 p.m. - Jesus Is Lord praise sula is the centerpiece of the Re- streets from there. Mitchell must team, East Market Street turn Day celebration. The parade have won when straws were 12:20p.m.- JoleneCross, country, shows off the talents of musicians drawn for the naming of the coun- Circle in bands from the middle school ty seat. The new town was to be 12:30 p.m.- Marie Mercy, contem- to high school and college levels, called Georgetown. porary, Circle and a wide variety of floats, The county seat was closer for 12:45 p.m. - Erin Williams, con- marching units and other exhibits voting purposes for many of the temporary, Circle 1 p.m. - Miss Delaware, Jody Kel- put on wheels, county's residents. According to ly, flute solo, "Dueling Banjos" Thousands of Sussex County Wilson's history, "Voters had to 1:30 p.m. - RETURN DAY PA- residents, and Delawareans from drive into Georgetown to cast RADE, from Sussex Central High north and south, join together in their ballots and it is unlikely they School halfway around The Circle Georgetown to celebrate the con- would return two days later for the to King Street. 3 p.m. - Ceremonies On The Cir- clusion of campaigning and the results. Undoubtedly, the results Angle Moon photo cle; oratory, patriotic music and democratic process, of the election were known that Former Georgetown Mayor W. Layton Johnson serves as traditional burying of hatchet. W. Emerson Wilson, a frequent night or the next day and voters Town Crier for Return Day. He is shown here standing on the 3:45 p.m. - Ox Roast on The Cir- contributor of historical articles to would stay over to learn the re- balcony of the Sussex County Court House reading the re- cle; free open bit barbecue sand- the News Journal papers in Wilm- Continued on back page suits of the 1996 elections, wiches. r ) 0 | "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or p ohzbztmg the free exerczse r t { thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press{ or of the right of the peooe opeaceably as- semb& and to petition the government for a redress of gnevances. "