Despite Return Day cancellation, two key traditions will still take place in Georgetown
While this year's Return Day parade has been canceled, local leaders have announced that two of the day's most significant traditions will still occur.
Sen. Brian Pettyjohn and Rep. Ruth Briggs King, both R-Georgetown; and Georgetown Mayor Bill West will host the Reading of Returns and the Burying of the Hatchet on Nov. 5, in front of the Sussex County administrative offices on The Circle in Georgetown.
The returns, or election tallies, will be read at noon by Sussex County Sheriff Robert Lee, immediately followed by the symbolic burying of the hatchet by the chairpersons of the Sussex County Democratic, Republican, Independent and Libertarian Parties.
“Dozens of individuals have contacted me over the course of several weeks to see what could be done to keep the tradition of Return Day alive,” Pettyjohn said. “The divisive and caustic nature of the 2020 election season makes it especially important that we perform this act to show our constituents that we are ready to move past the election and govern for all people.”
The Sussex County Return Day Committee has no involvement in the activities after it canceled the official event due to COVID-19 restrictions. While exactly when Return Day began is unknown, it's been celebrated in Georgetown since at least the 1800s. This year was the first time the event was called off since 1942 and 1946 due to World War II.
All participants and spectators in the traditional activities will be expected to abide by COVID-19 guidelines relating to social distancing and face coverings, according to a press release from the Senate Republican Caucus.
The Circle will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Nov. 5.
For more information, visit BuryTheHatchet2020.com.