Jazz funeral to bid farewell to summer in Bethany Beach Sept. 3

July 30, 2018

Following the Fourth of July parade and fireworks display, the Town of Bethany Beach is sailing along in the most popular part of the summer season.

Although many folks do not want to think about the end of summer, this wonderful season will come to a close, and then it will be time to transition into the vibrant fall season.

As in years past, plans are in the works to celebrate the end of the summer season. A group of local residents is preparing for the annual Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral to be held at 5:30 p.m., Labor Day Monday, Sept. 3.

The jazz funeral is a lighthearted celebration that allows all those who attend to participate in a fun boardwalk parade. A procession of mourners will carry a casket with a mannequin representing Summer of 2018 from the north end of the Boardwalk to its final resting place at the Boardwalk Bandstand. Music will be provided by the combined efforts of three Dixieland jazz bands.

“The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral is comparable to the jazz funerals that are held in New Orleans that celebrate the lives of those who have passed away," said Carolyn Bacon, event co-chair along with Marie Wright. "In Bethany Beach, the jazz funeral is celebrated each Labor Day to mark the passing of the summer resort season in Delaware's Quiet Resorts.”

Moss Wagner, a former town council member and Bethany businessman, who owned and operated the Bethany Beach Ice Cream Parlor and Moss Boss' Ice Cream Shop, founded this end-of-summer celebration. Wagner's original idea was to have a small party for local businessmen to celebrate the closing of the traditional summer resort season on Labor Day. His initially small party grew into a town-wide celebration featuring a Dixieland band and a funky funeral procession.

A silent auction to raise funds for local charities will be held at 3 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, at Bethany Blues. For more information, email, call 302-537-1585 or go to