BETHANY BEACH — On Labor Day, the town of Bethany Beach, known as the “Quiet Resort,” is unlike any other Atlantic coast beach town. The Bethany Beach Boardwalk is the setting for …
BETHANY BEACH — On Labor Day, the town of Bethany Beach, known as the “Quiet Resort,” is unlike any other Atlantic coast beach town. The Bethany Beach Boardwalk is the setting for the 36th annual Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral.
The 2022 Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral will be celebrated on Labor Day, Sept. 5 with activities beginning about 5:30 p.m. at the north end of the Bethany Beach Boardwalk.
As the sound of jazz music and mourning takes over the Bethany Beach Boardwalk the evening of Sept. 5, a casket is carried down the boardwalk. But the people on the boardwalk are not mourning the loss of an individual. Though summer officially ends with the fall equinox on Sept. 23 this year, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of life of the summer season at the Delaware beaches.
At the Jazz Funeral, spectators go to the Bethany Beach Boardwalk on Labor Day Monday and can join in a funeral procession of mourners, along with the combined forces of three Dixieland Jazz Bands, that carry a casket with a mannequin representing “Summer of 2022” to its final resting place at the Boardwalk Bandstand. The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral is based on the Jazz Funerals held in New Orleans.
Participants in the Jazz Funeral wear black shrouds, dark sunglasses, or costumes. Some carry flowers or reeds and others carry large umbrellas or bouncing lace parasols to really call to mind a true New Orleans funeral. Mourners will pretend to weep into handkerchiefs and will carry “rest in peace” signs. During the procession, the bands play somber, funeral music. But once they reach the Boardwalk Bandstand, they go up-tempo.
The charity kickoff event for the Labor Day weekend and the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral events is the silent auction held on Friday at 3:15 p.m. at Bethany Blues Restaurant at 6 N. Pennsylvania Ave. All funds raised by the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction go directly to the American Red Cross of Delmarva.
For information on the auction and jazz funeral, visit here.