Delaware Junction pulls to a stop, will return next year

HARRINGTON — With foam flying, funnel cakes frying and music pumping, the Delaware Junction country music festival came to a close Sunday at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington.

But it won’t be a one and done affair. Organizer Alex Pires said Sunday night the festival is coming back next year.

Prior to the country music duo Florida Georgia Line wrapping up the three-day festival, Mr. Pires made an appearance on the Main Stage.

“My name is Alex and I’m from Dewey Beach,” he told the crowd.

“I’ve got something to tell you. We’re coming back next year. Are you coming back? Peace and love.”

With that, he turned around and walked off.

Trio Jennie Langley of Dover, Travis Glanding of Middletown and Katie Courtney of Leipsic were among the estimated 15,000 to 20,000 who flocked to the three-day fest.

The avid festival-goers had already been to the Firefly rock music and Big Barrel country events earlier in the year at the Woodlands of Dover International Speedway and said they liked this weekend’s festival the best of the three.

“The lineup is way better. The set-up is great. The layout is great,” Ms. Langley said.

Mr. Glanding agreed. “Honestly, it’s better than the state fair,” he said.

The friends camped at the grounds for Delaware Junction and said one thing stood out the most between festivals: the differences in prices. Food, for example, was a little more expensive this weekend than at other festivals, as were the tickets, they said.

“This was by far the best though. There were fun things the others didn’t have, so you weren’t just hot. Even the showers were way better here,” Ms. Courtney said.

“Showers were horrible at Big Barrel, but here you have privacy and they’re cleaner. And they’re not $8 each.”

The crowd could be heard echoing similar remarks throughout the third and final day of the event, including Harbeson resident Melissa Juliano who brought her 6-year-old son to see his first concert.

“I think it’s ran fantastically, and smoother. There’s lots of things to do for the kids and the kids at heart,” said Ms. Juliano, who also attended Big Barrel this year.

“I imagine the clientele is the same. I don’t know what the difference is really, but this one was better by far,” she said.

Even her son, Nate, enjoyed the event after watching The Morrison Brothers from Washington D.C. on the indoor Next From Nashville stage.

Festival officials said Sunday afternoon there had been no major incidents over the weekend despite the large crowd.

Renae Vgati, a security crew supervisor working at Delaware Junction, said there were a few hiccups on Friday when some members of the general admission tried to enter VIP areas, especially VIP-designated bathrooms.

“We got a handle on it by the next day, but we really haven’t had too many problems. We’re running a tight ship,” she said.

Even State Rep. Harvey Kenton, R-Kenton, was spotted in the crowd over the weekend.

“I was out here (Saturday) and I said I had to come back today,” he explained.

Delaware Junction wasn’t just about the music this year.

Its organizers also arranged foam parties, a beer garden, cornhole games, rides, a giant slide and a water mister station for its first year in operation.

Free water was also available in several main festival areas.

For many of the concert and festival lovers, like Mr. Glanding, there was only one problem with the August festivities.

“I hate heights. The swing makes me throw up. But really, the one bad thing is that we have to go to work tomorrow. After this weekend, we need a holiday,” he said.

Editor’s note: Jennifer Antonik is a freelance writer.

Jennifer Antonik writes special reports for the Delaware State News

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