Hundreds of protesters showed up for the Storm the Beach event in Rehoboth on Saturday.
The Cape Gazette reported hundreds attended the event. Those opposed to the event had advised against any response to Reopen Delaware. Rehoboth Police reported that 100 to 200 were on hand for the event.
The protest was peaceful, with few testy exchanges, the newspaper reported.
Organizers of the protest said those violating beach or boardwalk regulations were on their own after apparently agreeing to use the designated area.
The town installed crowd control equipment at the bandstand area to provide areas for individuals on both sides.
“In continuing our mission to ensure that we provide participants a safe, orderly platform from which they can be heard we ask that everyone, both participants and spectators, regardless of their views, respect one another by not resorting to threats, violence, or disorderly behavior,” a Rehoboth Police Department stated. “These types of actions will not be tolerated. We urge everyone, as a show of respect to one another, to adhere to the mandates established by the current State of Emergency regarding social distancing and the use of face masks. The health and safety of the residents and visitors of Rehoboth Beach remain our paramount concern. Courtesy towards each other is a critical step in making this a successful, safe event.”
Failure to do so could result in the issuance of a verbal warning, a civil citation, and/or a full-custody criminal arrest, the department stated.
The department worked with Delaware State Police, the Dewey Beach Police, the Sussex County Paramedics, the Delaware Department of Transportation, and the Delaware Attorney General’s Office on its plan for the protest.
Businesses were also urged to reopen in defiance of the current stay at home order. Since the protest was announced, Delaware coastal towns have opened beaches for exercise.
(Correction: A previous version stated that counterprotesters may have been at the event. There. is no evidence of their presence based on media accounts).