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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
Mayor Joe Booth of Georgetown carrying the ceremonial hatchet, 1996
Mayor Joe Booth of Georgetown carrying the ceremonial hatchet, 1996 Return Day

Return Day

A Sussex County historic pageant in the town of Georgetown that features a parade, including election winners and losers, constituents, high school bands, firefighters, Little League champs, craft displays, musical and theatrical entertainment, and a performance by Nanticoke Indians. Continuing a long-standing tradition, an ox is roasted in the town circle, and free sandwiches are provided to all. The former political rivals bury a ceremonial hatchet in sand (brought from Lewes, the original county seat), following a custom colonial settlers borrowed from local Indians, to signify the end of competition and the continuance of bipartisan government. The event takes place on the Thursday immediately following Election Day and dates back to 1791 when voters gathered in the county seat to learn election results.

Project documentation comprises a 3 pages of text, seventeen 8 x 10 photographs with descriptions, programs and booklets from various years, and postcards.

Originally submitted by: Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Senator.

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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