The beast will be unleashed in Dewey Beach this weekend ... the big cartoon mascot of a bull, that is.
As the wacky tradition of Running of the Bull returns in full force, communities all along the Delaware beaches are preparing to welcome more families who are cashing in on vacation plans.
If you're heading to the Delaware beaches this weekend, you might be wondering what you should know.
We've got you covered.
For anyone looking to visit the beaches during the weekend of June 24, this guide will help answer questions ranging from event details to parking and the latest weather reports.
Events happening this weekend
While there are always fun things happening at the Delaware beaches in the summer, here are a few of the major events, including beloved traditions and history-making celebrations.
Running of the Bull
This only-in-Dewey tradition is back again for 2022.
All are invited on Saturday to dress up in Pamplona-themed attire and run through the streets of Dewey Beach with a bull – yup, that's two guys in a bull costume – on their tail.
The festivities begin with the children's version of the event at 10:30 a.m. between the Dagsworthy and New Orleans street beaches.
Crowds will gather at the Starboard for more quirky fun all day. The adults' turn to run with the bull starts around 2 p.m. Other activities typically include live music and a comical "bull fight."
Curious about what else the Running of the Bull entails? Get to Dewey Beach, grab an orange crush and brace yourself for a wild ride.
Juneteenth Celebration in Lewes
Visitors have a chance to be part of something special this weekend as Lewes hosts its first-ever Juneteenth celebration on Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. at George H.P. Smith Park.
This free event will have vendors, food trucks, live music, African and Native American dancers, Miss Juneteenth and more.
The Historic Lewes Farmers Market, which is every Saturday morning at the park, will still be happening as vendors join in on the Juneteenth festivities.
The Lewes African American Heritage Commission, the city and farmers market all came together to organize this inaugural celebration.
For more, visit the event on Facebook: fb.me/e/1cCTSihx7.
Kids Catch-all Fishing Tournament
Looking to spend some time by the water with the family? This kids fishing tournament at Indian River Marina will be taking place on Saturday and Sunday.
Raising money for the Lyme Disease Association of Delmarva, this tournament is packed with fun activities even beyond fishing, such as an all-you-can-eat dinner for the whole family each night, free event T-shirts, door prizes and more.
The tournament is open to kids ages 3 to 18, according to the event's website. All participants must register before the event either online or in person at the marina.
Registration is open on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. For more, visit www.kidscatchall.com.
IN-DEPTH BEACH GUIDE: A local's look at everything you need to know about the Delaware beaches
Weather for the weekend of June 24
If you're a Delaware beaches fan, then you probably know this already: The weather can certainly be unpredictable and quickly changing here. So here's a reminder to always check your weather channels or apps before settling in on the sand.
That being said, the National Weather Service is predicting clear and sunny weather so far for this weekend in the Rehoboth Beach area.
Friday is looking to be a beautiful beach day with a high of 74 and mostly sunny skies throughout the day. You may want to bring a light jacket or long-sleeved shirt, though, as the winds pick up a little in the afternoon. The evening should also be clear with a low near 64.
If taking part in any of the beach festivities on Saturday, the sun is expected to be shining brightly with a high near 79, according to the weather service. The evening brings lows around 66.
Then, Sunday's weather should be just about identical to Saturday with a high near 79 during the day, sunny skies and a low around 69 at night.
What to expect at restaurants, beach businesses
Delaware’s beach towns are preparing for a summer that’s as busy – if not busier – than last year.
That means it’s once again time for this reminder: Have patience, folks.
Many restaurants, bars, and others in the service industry are still facing staffing shortages. While some businesses are getting more help from international students than in the past two years when COVID-19 restrictions limited that workforce, several other factors are impacting the seasonal labor shortage this year – especially a lack of affordable housing.
Remember last year when some businesses were limiting hours or services? Visitors could see that again this summer, according to Carol Everhart, president of the Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber of Commerce.
Hiring signs are still hanging in many business windows and some are forced to have limited hours due to staffing.
It may be wise to make early reservations, follow your favorite spots on social media or call ahead to stay updated on any changes.
As far as outdoor dining, many beach towns found ways to continue that in the 2022 season. However, Rehoboth Beach no longer allowed parking spaces to be blocked off for dining on public sidewalks.
Public health guidelines, COVID cases
An unfortunate reality: COVID-19 is still present for summer vacations at the Delaware beaches. But the good news is cases and hospitalizations have been decreasing since late May, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health.
The Delaware Division of Public Health reported that an average of 13.1% of tests were coming back positive as of June 22.
Even with these downward trends, though, DPH reminds people to stay vigilant – especially when traveling for crowded events or visiting the beaches.
This is the latest advice from DPH:
Stay home if sick and get tested if you have symptoms or were exposed to someone with COVID-19.
There are no mask mandates, but DPH advises masking up in indoor places or if you are at higher risk for illness.
Get vaccinated and boosted when you’re eligible.
Stay informed and turn to reliable sources for data, information, and treatment options like de.gov/coronavirus.
Want to know where to receive booster shots? Visit coronavirus.delaware.gov/vaccine/where-can-i-get-my-vaccine/#publichealth.
Parking and transportation
All resort towns from Lewes to Fenwick Island have their seasonal parking rules in place.
Both Rehoboth and Lewes increased some parking rates this year. It is now a universal $3 per hour rate in Rehoboth, and Lewes is charging $1.50 downtown and $2.50 at the beaches.
Lewes has several free non-metered parking lots listed on its website, as well as metered lots and spaces on side streets.
When visiting Delaware State Parks like Cape Henlopen, parking is included in the entrance fee.
In Dewey Beach, parking is free in all permit-only and metered spaces Monday through Wednesday from 5 to 11 p.m. only. All other days and times, you must pay to park on public streets.
(These free parking times coincide with family-friendly movie nights and bonfires in Dewey, events that continue throughout the summer).
Fenwick Island and South Bethany mostly require permits to park, but Fenwick offers free parking on its side streets after 4 p.m.
In Bethany Beach, all spaces are either metered or require a permit through Sept. 15.
Many of these towns and cities offer payment through the ParkMobile app.
For more about parking (or State Park fees), visit each beach town's website:
If planning to visit one of the State Parks, it's wise to check the parks' Facebook pages where staff will post whether the park is closed due to full parking.
Consider taking the Beach Bus
Want to forget about parking or paying for gas? Take a bus to the beach. Parking is free at the park and rides in Lewes and Rehoboth Beach.
The Beach Bus has already started its routes and will continue seven days a week until Sept. 11. The stops include Rehoboth Beach and the Boardwalk, Lewes, Long Neck, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, South Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island, Ocean City in Maryland, Millsboro and Georgetown.
The cost to ride the bus is $2 per trip, $4 for a daily pass, $16 for a seven-day pass or $60 for a 30-day pass.
Traveling from northern Delaware or Kent County? The 305 Beach Connection from Wilmington to Rehoboth Beach started last weekend. It runs Saturdays, Sundays and holidays through Sept. 5.
Riders taking this bus will pay $6 for one-way trips from Wilmington, Christiana Mall and Odessa and $4 from Dover and South Frederica. A daily pass is $10 from New Castle County and $8 from Kent County.
If traveling around Bethany Beach, the town also offers a trolley with a single route that runs from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and costs 25 cents per trip.
In Lewes, the new seasonal transit option Lewes Line cost $1 per ride. Stops include the two municipal beaches, downtown locations, the library and more. To learn more, visit www.ci.lewes.de.us/363/Lewes-Line.
Emily Lytle covers Sussex County from the inland towns to the beaches. Got a story she should tell? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-332-0370. Follow her on Twitter at @emily3lytle.
This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Delaware beaches: Your guide for the weekend of June 24