Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral 2018

Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral

Delaware, USA

Say goodbye to “Summer” in style and attend the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral on Labor Day, 2018. The procession starts at the north end of the Bethany Beach Boardwalk in Delaware, at 5:30 p.m.

Not only is it a family event, but it’s free. Also, don’t hesitate to dress for the occasion in black or costume.

Three jazz bands will serenade the crowd. They include the Dixie Cats, the Downtown Dixieland Band, and the Jazz Funeral Irregulars. Sway to the Dixieland music, and you will find yourself in a New Orleans state of mind.

Our Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Experience

The tuba’s moan alerted us that the death march had begun. Mourners strolled to a solemn “Amazing Grace” southward on the Bethany Beach Boardwalk. Crowds lined the boardwalk along with the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral participants. “Summer” had died that day, and the crowd had come to pay their final respects.

A woman dressed as a nun walk in the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral.
A nun escorts Summer to her final resting place.

Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Costumes

Purple, gold, and red Mardi Gras beads were the accessories of the day. They hung from necks, wrapped around arms, and threaded through fingers.

Other costume accessories included fedoras, dark sunglasses, and black tee-shirts. Some participants draped their faces and bodies in black and purple veils. Most importantly, the covers served a double purpose: Those without tissues used their veils to wipe their tears.

A  woman with a white painted face donned a red wig and tee-shirt, and she played the squeezebox. Furthermore, her partner had strapped on a gray beard and strummed the banjo.

Moreover, a nun who walked in the march while blotting her eyes wailed, “We will miss her, she was too young.” As she approached, we noticed her black and white habit with “Nun Of Your Business” printed across her headpiece and “Nun For You” across her chest.

Bethany Beach Bandstand Event
Mourners bid farewell to summer at the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral.
Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral
A man adorned in spiders and skulls walks in the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral.

However, hands down, though he didn’t wail as well as the nun, my favorite mourner was a man who dangled a white plastic skeleton from his neck and a spider from his brown fedora. He sauntered to the beloved’s final resting place with Mardi Gras beads draped through his hands that held a tarantula and a skull.

Jazz bands play Amazing Grace in Bethany Beach.

Labor Day Event

Just ahead of “Summer’s” casket, a bejeweled blond-haired angel carried her tombstone. It was inscribed with “Rest in Peace Dear Summer.” Most importantly, “Summer” had been born on the first day of the tourist season, Memorial Day, and died Labor Day.

A mourner dries her tears at the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral.
The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral ends at the bandstand.

As the pallbearers rolled “Summer” to her final resting place at the bandstand, she must have felt comfort from the fake flowers that enshrouded her. Moreover, she was not alone. Black cats, bats, witches, crescent moons, and stars danced on the Halloween cloth that draped her casket.

Orange lipstick accentuated “Summer’s” tan. Plus, a straw beach hat covered her bright yellow hair and dark glasses shaded her eyes. “Summer” went out in style.

Participants process the boardwalk at the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral.

Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral

Dixieland Music

When the rest of the procession arrived at the bandstand, Dixieland music replaced the dirge. Participants and onlookers tapped their feet and swayed to “Has Anyone Seen My Gal,” “Ain’t She Sweet,” “When You’re Smiling,” “God Bless America,” and more. “Summer” enjoyed a Dixieland send off.

A nun walks with “Summer’s” casket.
Jazz Funeral is held Labor Day.
Rest in peace “Summer.”
Jazz Funeral is held Labor Day in Bethany Beach.
“Summer” is laid to rest on Labor Day in Bethany Beach.

Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction

On Friday, August 31, 2018, stop by Bethany Blues restaurant located at 6 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Bethany Beach, Delaware. Please bid on silent auction items to support local charities. The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction begins at 3 p.m.  For more information call 302-537-1585.

Labor Day 2018

Though for some, the end of the tourist season and Labor Day may feel like a letdown. But, the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral sends summer off on a happy note. Do yourself a favor and check out this musical event, and feel free to come in costume. This jazz funeral is an uplifting gathering and an excellent way to celebrate the end of summer’s tourist season.

“Yes, I ask you very confidentially, ain’t she (summer) sweet?”

Have you ever been to New Orleans or experienced a jazz funeral?  What do you think about the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral?

Please comment below.

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10 thoughts on “Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral 2018

  1. I have never heard of anything like this. And people are shedding actual tears to mourn summer’s end. Oh, my! The music must be very festive!

    1. Sharon, well, maybe the “mourners” didn’t shed actual tears, but it’s a fun way to end the summer tourist season, thanks for your comment.

  2. This looks like so much fun! Though the end of summer is sad (wah! I don’t want it to end!) I’m sure the end of the tourist season is a reason to celebrate for many locals. The costumes are killing me, lol. Wish I could join you!

  3. I don’t want to think about Summer ending! But this festival sounds like a lot of fun, I have never heard of anything like it. I am hoping for an Indian Summer here in England. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

  4. Omgosh, how hilarious is this! I love it! Although, I personally can’t be tooooo sad that summer is over because my favorite season comes next! Now, for the end of Fall, I would wear black haha Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    1. California, I’m glad that your favorite season is next, and like you, I love autumn too. Thanks for commenting. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  5. How funny is that: Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral? I love Dixieland music and this “ushering out of the summer” seems like my kind of celebration. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Anda, it’s definitely a unique celebration and it puts a positive spin on the end of summer’s tourist season. Thanks for your comment. #TheWeeklyPostcard

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