Launching a New Tradition
Lewes’s unsanctioned fireworks were snuffed out last July, but a spirit of cooperation has ensured dazzling things to come
By Jeanne Shook | Photograph by John Hoyt
From the June 2018 issue
Lewes Chief of Police Tom Spell admits that he was “the Grinch” who stole the 2017 Fourth of July fireworks.
For many years, Lewes Beach had been the site of unsanctioned displays that, according to Spell, had “gotten bigger and more potentially dangerous” with each holiday. Last summer’s first official ban on such unauthorized events was set in motion when the Office of the State Fire Marshal urged the city — not for the first time — to take action. Despite a history of non-compliance with regulations governing fireworks, the city had been “very fortunate that we didn’t have any serious injuries,” admits Lewes Mayor Ted Becker.
Delaware is one of only three states, including Massachusetts and New Jersey, prohibiting the sale of fireworks.
By law, fireworks displays sanctioned by the state must be professionally conducted by companies with the proper permits and licensing. Over the years, the fire marshal’s office made numerous attempts to curtail the illegal pyrotechnics along Lewes Beach, but no action was ever taken until last June. According to Michael G. Chionchio, the assistant state fire marshal, his office decided to “give it another shot” and initiated a meeting with Spell and Lewes City Manager Ann Marie Townshend.
A Beachcomber’s Bounty
Mollusk architects, fiber makers and marine hunters created our sandy souvenirs. Here’s a veteran collector’s guide to their stories.
The treasures we find at the beach are all elements of an ocean’s story; the shoreline is the introduction where we meet some of its characters and are given clues to their far-reaching communities. When you consider the millions of mollusk shells that tumble to shore, you realize that the world’s coastlines are bejeweled beyond measure. What we spot as we look through sand and seaweed is only a hint of the world beneath the waves, of how snails and clams and other creatures survive and interact.
Frank Lloyd Wright sometimes placed seashells before him at Sunday breakfast, and spoke with reverence to those gathered about the animals’ design solutions. From the spherical to the triangular to the fancifully swirling, mollusks’ shells exhibit an astonishing capacity for variation — they’re architects of the sea, building magnificent homes that they add on to as they grow.
Surf and a Slice
Coastal Delaware has an epic appetite for pizza of all sorts — and loyalties that run deep
Maybe it’s the glistening oil that pools in the well of the pepperoni, the satisfying snap of a crisp crust or the string of cheese that hangs like a suspension bridge between a slice and a smile.
Whatever the reason, there’s something about pizza that appeals to local diners and visitors alike.
For proof, witness the profusion of places serving pizza in coastal Sussex County. There are distinctly local establishments, such as Nicola Pizza and Louie’s Pizza, both in Rehoboth Beach, and there are national chains, including Domino’s and Papa John’s.
There are versions baked in wood-fired ovens and pizzas made with grilled dough. You don’t need to be in an Italian restaurant to order it. Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats has offered pizza since it opened in 1995. Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, which opened in May on Route 1 near Rehoboth, offers flatbreads — essentially oblong personal pizzas.