A Look at the 2024 Separation Day Festival in Old New Castle

Delawareans gathered in Old New Castle to commemorate Separation Day with historic reenactments, a parade and a festival in Battery Park.

Delaware boasts a unique colonial history. For a time, Pennsylvania claimed ownership to the three counties along the Delaware River. Yet on June 15, 1776, Delaware declared its independence from both Great Britain and Pennsylvania. Separation Day is now celebrated every year in Old New Castle, where Delaware’s independence was declared.

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Separation Day festivities over the weekend in Old New Castle. 🇺🇸 #delaware #fyp

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Separation Day is one of the longest-running traditions in the First State. This year marked the 248th anniversary of the event. Attendees celebrated with a parade through the streets of Old New Castle, colonial reenactors, live performances and a festival in New Castle’s Battery Park.

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Here’s a look at the festival and parade in photos.

Separation day parade

Citizens Hose Co. Band at Separation Day

The Separation Day parade kicked off at noon and included performances from both local and national marching bands. Public figures and local politicians also made appearances to give celebratory addresses. Both Gov. John Carney and Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long spoke during the parade.

Gov. John Carney separation day
Gov. John Carney addresses festival-goers in Old New Castle at the Separation Day parade.

In celebration of the First State, a variety of local organizations planned performances and demonstrations including traditional dance, historic reenactments and more.

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State Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown was accompanied by her son, who performed a dance routine to Frank Sinatra.

Wilmington’s Ballet Folklorico Mexico Lindo performed traditional Mexican dance during the parade. Dancers of all ages impressed spectators and celebrated the diverse array of cultures that exists in the First State.

Reenactment groups from around Delaware also gave demonstrations after marching through the streets of Old New Castle, including firing off their muskets in an impressive display enjoyed by spectators of all ages.

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The Separation Day parade also included historic police and fire vehicles. Four officers from Wilmington’s Mounted Patrol unit—and their Clydesdales—made an appearance.

wilmington delaware mounted patrol unit in New Castle

Along with the parade, the Separation Day festival featured more live performances, a craft vendor fair, carnival rides, food trucks and historic reenactors in Old New Castle. Festivities continued throughout the day, ending with a fireworks show at dusk. Separation day reenactors

Historic reenactors interact with festival-goers in Old New Castle.
Historic reenactors interact with festival-goers in Old New Castle.
Local vendors sold everything from home goods to clothing and accessories to artisanal food products throughout the afternoon.
Local vendors sold everything from home goods to clothing and accessories to artisanal food products throughout the afternoon.

Separation day carnival

Food truck

See yourself in one of these photos? Reach out to our digital editor, Sydney Livingston, at slivingston@delawaretoday.com to be added to the caption.

Related: A Look at The Delaware Art Museum’s Studio 54 Cocktail Party

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