Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Significantly smaller Return Day buries the hatchet this year

Roman Battaglia / Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s official Return Day was cancelled over COVID-19 concerns.


But some officials in Sussex County tried to keep the tradition going with a scaled down version of the event.


Georgetown was much quieter than it usually is two days after an election.


Thursday would have been Return Day in a typical election year, drawing thousands to Georgetown for Delaware’s unique post-election tradition of burying the hatchet - both figuratively and literally.


But COVID-19 concerns prompted organizers to cancel the event this year.


State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown) ran for re-election unopposed. He was among those trying to honor that spirit despite the pandemic and, as of November 5th, an undecided presidential election.


“We’ll not always agree on every issue, but the work we do, the work we swear to do is not for parties or for special interests but for all of you who we are privileged to represent,” said Pettyjohn.


Return Day typically draws thousands to Georgetown. The replacement effort saw only around 100 people showup. 


State Rep. Ruth Briggs King (R-Georgetown) says it's time to focus on the issues at hand.


“I leave you with this thought from Theodore Roosevelt; Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. God bless you and god bless America,” said Briggs King.


Also missing was the parade where winning and losing candidates in each race share a carriage. Only the announcement of the votes and a few speeches took place this year, along with the burying of the hatchet, with soil taken from the four corners of Sussex County.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
Related Content