Delaware Celebrates 2014 Return Day - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Celebrates 2014 Return Day

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (WBOC) - It was time to read the results. People and politicians gathered at the Georgetown Circle for Return Day Thursday afternoon.

It's an event with a message that seems even more meaningful after a hard 2014 election season.

The most important part of Return Day is the burying of the hatchet. To candidates, parties and voters in Georgetown that's more than the manifestation of a cliche. Again and again Thursday people said it's something not just Delaware but the nation as a whole seems to need right now.

"I love the fact that it's our tradition," said Debbie Jones, with Return Day. "But I think a lot of people could learn from it."

Though the 2014 election is over, the challenge of working together in a nation so divided continues.

"I wish our country had Return Day," said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware. "It's a terrific opportunity for candidates to come together."

And then the newly re-elected senator says they must move forward.

"The country could benefit enormously from moving past the partisanship of campaign season," said Sen. Coons. "We have issues that just haven't been addressed in the past couple of years."

He says he's spoken with many colleagues during the past two days about how to do that.

Rep. John Carney, D-Delaware, also just re-elected, agrees with Sen. Coons.

"I think that's why you need days like today, days like Return Day, when you do put those differences behind, bury the hatchet from the campaign."

However, it's hard to bury the hatchet with an opponent when that opponent isn't at return. Some candidates for major offices weren't in Georgetown Thursday, were absent from the parade of candidates.

"This is a tradition whether you win or lose that you have to participate in," Rep. Carney said. "That's the whole idea of it. It's a very bad thing for candidates not to participate in Return Day."

Rep. Carney says it's now time to go to Washington and do what voters sent them there to do. How easy that will be for either side remains to be seen.

In the more than 200 years since the first Return Day, organizers told WBOC that the pageantry, the vendors, and everything about it had grown. However, they said the fundamental traditions had stayed the same. Vendor Marvin Harris said the atmosphere was positive all day. 

"I just feel like it's a family atmosphere here," he said. "And good food."

"It's great when the community comes out," said Patty Crossan another food vendor at the event. "And to enjoy all the opportunities for great food. It's almost like a carnival in a way." 

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