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Delaware may adopt a state cocktail. Here are 7 other state symbols you might not know

In World
June 11, 2024

Since Delaware has already adopted a state bird (blue hen), marine animal (horseshoe crab) and bug (ladybug, which is actually an insect) — is the Small Wonder ready to officially add a state cocktail?

Legislation introduced House bill 444 on Thursday, June 6 with thirsty plans to designate “Orange Crush” as the state cocktail.

The primary sponsor for the bill is Rep. Peter Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach.

The bill states: “Orange Crush has been made famous and become synonymous with Dewey Beach, Delaware” and “The Starboard in Dewey Beach, Delaware perfected the Orange Crush and serves the most Orange Crush cocktails of any bar in Delaware every beach season.”

Mick Purzycki (left) and Andrew Price with their Uncle Biff's Orange Crush.

Mick Purzycki (left) and Andrew Price with their Uncle Biff’s Orange Crush.

HB 444 states Orange Crush is made with fresh-squeezed orange juice, orange Vodka, Triple sec, and lemon-lime soda with crushed ice.

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While parched Delawareans await the possibility of Delaware getting a new state cocktail, here’s a look at some interesting and lesser-known state symbols you may not have known were adopted according. (Source: delaware.gov/guides/facts)

Wait, Delaware already has a state beverage?

Courtney Rovillard, of Long Neck, hands out gallons of milk at the Food Bank of Delaware's drive-thru event held at Crossroad Community Church near Georgetown.

Courtney Rovillard, of Long Neck, hands out gallons of milk at the Food Bank of Delaware’s drive-thru event held at Crossroad Community Church near Georgetown.

While legislators are fighting for Delaware to designate a state cocktail, milk has been the state beverage since June 3, 1983. That means the First State might end up with two official drinks on tap.

Delaware state dinosaur wears gold chain

The Theropod dinosaur Dryptosaurus (Dryptosaurus aquilunguis) is selected as Delaware's state dinosaur by students at Shue-Medill School. The Theropod is on display at the Delaware Museum of Nature & Science on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

The Theropod dinosaur Dryptosaurus (Dryptosaurus aquilunguis) is selected as Delaware’s state dinosaur by students at Shue-Medill School. The Theropod is on display at the Delaware Museum of Nature & Science on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Not only did Delaware get a state dinosaur on June 29, 2022 — the design of the state’s dino is fresh to death. The Dryptosauridae (“Drip-tuh-sore-uh-dee”) wears a derby hat, sneakers and a gold chain with a huge letter “G” medallion. The dino (and all their “drip”) sprang from the imagination of students at Shue-Medill Middle School. The students wrote House Bill 390 and successively convinced legislators that Delaware needs to adopt the Dryptosauridae, a dino whose bones have been found in the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

Delaware state has its own star

You can view the First State's official star, Delaware Diamond, with a telescope.

You can view the First State’s official star, Delaware Diamond, with a telescope.

On June 30, 2000, Delaware flexed its space muscles by adopting a star, the Delaware Diamond. That followed a contest sponsored by what was then the Delaware Museum of Natural History (now the Delaware Museum of Nature and Science) and won by 12-year-old Amy Nerlinger in the summer of 1999.

Delaware Diamond, which is a 12th magnitude star, is near Ursa Major with coordinates of right ascension 9h40m44s and declination 48°14’2. The Diamond can be viewed with a telescope or binoculars and it’s the first star on the International Star Registry to be registered to an American state.

Why does Delaware have a state macroinvertebrate?

Because Delaware has a thing for insects, the state crowned the stonefly as the state macroinvertebrate on May 4, 2005. It might sound strange that Delaware recognizes a state fly, but the state did it to raise awareness of water quality issues and to celebrate citizen action programs like Delaware Stream Watch that aim to make our waterways less polluted.

The decision to choose the stonefly was supported by several schools: Gunning-Bedford Middle School, Salesianum High School, Delcastle Technical High School, Dickinson High School Environmental Club, The Independence School, Springer Middle School, St. Andrews School, and The Charter School of Wilmington.

Have you seen the Delaware state butterfly?

The Delaware state butterfly is the tiger stallowtail butterfly.

The Delaware state butterfly is the tiger stallowtail butterfly.

There are three state insects in Delaware and one of them is the large, yellow and black-stripped tiger swallowtail butterfly. The swallowtail was selected as the state butterfly on June 10, 1999. The insect is native to Delaware and can be found in woods, along streams, rivers, wooded swamps, and in cities and towns across the state. Students at Richardson Park Learning Center in Wilmington selected three different butterflies and then 1,611 out of 3,175 public and parochial students all over Delaware voted to suggest to the legislature that the tiger swallowtail represent the state.

Do you eat the Delaware state dessert?

Pastry chef Rachel Diener preparing her 'Deconstructed Peach Pie' at Heirloom Restaurant in Lewes.

Pastry chef Rachel Diener preparing her ‘Deconstructed Peach Pie’ at Heirloom Restaurant in Lewes.

Considering how popular funnel cake is, you might think that’d be Delaware’s official dessert. But guess again. It’s Peach Pie. This tasty treat has represented the state since July 30, 2009. The origins go back to peach farming being an important part of the state’s agricultural history. Delaware was the country’s top producer of peaches for part of the 18th century. At its peak, the state shipped 6 million baskets of peaches to market in 1875. Due to the state’s peachy history, students at St. John’s Lutheran School in Dover suggested that peach pie by recognized as the state’s official symbol.

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Wilmington kids select Delaware state fossil

The state dinosaur and fossil may sound the same, but they’re two different things. Delaware’s state fossil is belemnite, which is basically an extinct squid with a conical shell. The creature is a member of the phylum Mollusca, which includes clams, snails, squids and octopuses. Folks can find Belemnite fossils around the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. That’s where Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School (Wilmington) students of Kathy Tidball found fossils and lobbied to honor the ancient create as a state fossil. Their wish was granted on July 12, 1996.

If you have an interesting story idea, email lifestyle reporter Andre Lamar at alamar@gannett.com. Consider signing up for his weekly newsletter, DO Delaware, at delawareonline.com/newsletters

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Delaware may get a state cocktail. Discover 7 other state symbols

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