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The original item was published from 5/12/2016 11:53:24 AM to 5/14/2016 12:00:02 AM.

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Executive - Press Release

Posted on: May 6, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Rain delays county’s popular ‘Sleep Under the Stars’

As rainy weather continued Friday, New Castle County Executive Thomas P. Gordon postponed the county’s popular “Sleep Under the Stars” this weekend.

Delayed for one week, the free camp-out now is set for its advertised rain date of Saturday, May 14, at Rockwood Park. The overnight event – with no admission, parking or activity fees -- has become well-known as jam-packed with family-friendly fun, this year adding a super-hero theme.

“Sleep Under the Stars is one of the most popular events our county hosts,” Gordon said. “We love to welcome newcomers and have families return year after year.”

Nearly 3,000 people have signed up for the event, booking more than 750 tents – popularity credited to its theme – but registration continues at\specialevents, said Sophia Hanson, general manager of the Department of Community Services, which includes park programs.

The county has a limited number of tents left for free loan, with details and more event information at\specialevents. Those who signed up earlier but can’t make the rain date are asked to check in to cancel their registrations.

County officials had kept watch as rain soaked the park grounds along with the rest of Delaware this week, according to J. Wayne Merritt, acting general manager of the Department of Special Services, which maintains county parks. Early Friday, as the National Weather Service forecast more rain into the weekend, Merritt recommended the postponement and Gordon concurred.

With the delay, camper check-in will start at 10 a.m. and run to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 14, with checkout by noon on Sunday, May 15.

“You can come for the day or stay all night,” said Jane Rattenni, who manages community resources in the Department of Community Services.

Children are encouraged to wear super-hero costumes, join a Super-Hero Dance Party with DJ and see a super-hero movie.

Super-hero comic books will be given out to children while the supply lasts.

Kids can make super-hero capes in a free activity and meet super-hero characters, with families encouraged to take their own souvenir photos with Captain America Civil War, Thor, Super Girl and Spiderman.

Children also will enjoy playing bubble soccer in inflatable bubbles and shooting off rockets in an activity hosted by Hagley Museum of Greenville.

Guests will get to see the New Castle County Police Department Mounted Patrol Unit, watch the force’s K-9 teams demonstrate their skills and meet officers who will patrol throughout the camp-out.

Other activities include photo booth, moon bounce and games, along with vendors offering comics and food trucks with a range of beverages, snacks and meals for sale.

Guests are welcome to bring their own camping gear and food, but cooking is limited to small gas camp stoves. Service animals are allowed but pets are not. For the full rules and activity schedule, visit

Sleeping Under the Stars – a signature event of the ever-improving county park system -- is presented without participation fees thanks to many generous community sponsors and donors including New Castle County residents.

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