Arts & Entertainment
Building on last year’s successful debut, Bethany Beach will again celebrate the holidays each Saturday in December with Weekend Wonderland, which will feature special shopping hours, and festive activities including caroling around the town’s boardwalk holiday tree, free gift-wrapping, a holiday movie, crafts for children and a chance to meet characters from the Disney movie “Frozen.”
Selbyville, Millsboro, Dagsboro and more this weekend
For those in need of some holiday cheer, a number of local parades are ringing in the Christmas season in the next two weeks. Families are being invited to line the streets and cheer on their favorite floats, marching bands, fire trucks, classic cars and local celebrities.
Imagine sitting in a bright, cozy, yet high-ceilinged church as the delicate sound of bells fills the air.
The Capital Ringers bell choir is bringing that melody back to Selbyville on Saturday, Dec. 3, at Salem United Methodist Church.
The cooler nights of December are going to give way to a tropical breeze this weekend, with the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation’s (QRCF) annual Caribbean Christmas event at Mango’s in downtown Bethany Beach on Saturday, Dec. 3.
If local parades and tree-lighting events don’t offer a big enough helping of holiday spirit, there are two area events that offer winter festivities on a grand scale: Winterfest of Lights in Ocean City, Md., and the new Winter WonderFEST in Lewes.
How about a little sand with your Santa Claus?
Fenwick Island will welcome the Christmas season with a “Sea the Holidays” community event.
Residents and neighbors are being invited to a holiday gathering on Friday, Dec. 2. People can enjoy caroling, the tree-lighting and shared treats from 6 to 9 p.m.
After the dishes have been put away and the whole family is over-stuffed with turkey and fixings, many begin their Christmas holiday decorating. And, this weekend, two area towns are inviting the public to join in on lighting the towns’ Christmas trees and get into the holiday spirit.
Beside a quiet country road, sunny fields stretch toward a leafy forest that hides beauties within. A 37-acre public garden is coming to Dagsboro, and the public is being invited to the groundbreaking of Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek on Thursday, Dec. 1.
Public tours will begin at 10 a.m., focusing on the Woodlands pathways down to Pepper Creek. The ceremony will begin sometime between 11 and 11:30 a.m.
It’s been several years since the volunteer group formed to create a “world-class, inspirational, educational” public garden on Piney Neck Road, just outside of Dagsboro.
“It’s a seminal event,” said Ray Sander, board treasurer. It’s perhaps the first public opportunity to witness what’s happening behind the scenes. “They can take a tour there and see what we’ve done. … We’re moving ahead.”
A “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” evening of socializing, shopping, entertainment, food and drink in Bethany Beach will benefit girls thousands of miles away who just want an education.
The irony of that is not lost on the event’s coordinators, Harriett Nettles and Sedona restaurant owner Marion Parrott.
The event, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1, is a fundraiser for the Helambu Education & Livelihood Project (HELP), which seeks to build schools in remote parts of Nepal. Helambu, Nettles said, is “one of the poorest and most illiterate regions of Nepal. The only way to get there is to trek from Katmandu.”
Nettles, who lives in Asheville, N.C., first traveled to Nepal as a volunteer with Children of the Earth. There, she said, she met a young man named Jimmy Lama, who was the first person in his village to graduate from secondary school and had started HELP as a way to give back to his community.
You know the old saying: “Good things come to those who wait.”
Before local restaurateur Matt Haley went to India for ongoing humanitarian efforts in August 2014, he and I chatted at a fundraising event. I told him that I’d tried without success to highlight a couple chefs at his SoDel restaurants. We exchanged business cards and he said, “I’ll fix that when I return from India.” Sadly, he was killed in a motorcycle accident on that trip.
About a year ago, Debbie Ruley, a member of the Post 17 Lewes American Legion Auxiliary (as am I), and mother of chef Doug Ruley, vice president of SoDel Concepts, told me that she would put me in touch with her son to highlight in my column.
Doug and I finally met at the American Legion in September, to celebrate his sister Nichole’s birthday. Well worth the wait! Like my husband, Jim, Nichole enjoys singing on karaoke night. She’s a big fan of her older brother’s cooking.
Patti Grimes, executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation and the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, wears many hats. This week, she dons one more.
Grimes has been named 2016 Sussex County Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay. She received the award on Wednesday, Nov. 16, during a luncheon at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Honorary co-chairs for the event were Delaware First Lady Carla J. Markell and Michelle Freeman; co-chairs were Sandy Taras and Twig Burton.
Grimes, who was a Girl Scout as a child growing up in Boonsboro, Md., has a grown daughter, Marisa, and said she hopes all young girls realize just how much they can change the world.
“I want them to know how valuable they are and how unique and special each person is,” she said.
’Tis the season to shop, and Frankford’s Annual Holiday Expo will return Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., for people who want to find a unique gift or some holiday décor for their own homes.
The Frankford Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary will host about 40 vendors, selling many types of gifts, including crafts, decorations, kitchen goods, beauty products and homemade candy. Decorations on offer can fill a range of tastes, including cozy woodworks, delicate glass artworks, evergreen Christmas wreaths and more.
Independent consultants will sell items from LuLaRoe, Mary Kay, Origami Owl, Pampered Chef and Scentsy.
Organizer Crystal Hudson is a vendor, but she said she particularly loves the community aspect of a holiday market.
“I love the fact that you get to meet new people,” she said. “It’s just the fulfillment of being able to meet people and be involved in something.”
Shoppers can ask questions and learn about the items they’re buying.
“You get to meet a variety of people. … You get to have a one-on-one with the people who are making the product or selling the product. I think it’s nice,” said Hudson, owner of Country Heaven gift shop in Frankford. “You get people dedicated to their product or what they make.”
People can get season’s greetings and season’s shopping from Indian River High School Band this weekend, as the Indian River High School Band Boosters will host a Holiday Shoppers Fair on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
While enjoying complimentary snacks and soft drinks and live music by IRHS music ensembles, people can do some holiday shopping at Cripple Creek Country Club.
It’s a night to fundraise and reignite a passion for saving the environment.
The Inland Bays Foundation hosts its third Love Your Inland Bays Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 30.
The special event is from 6 to 9 p.m. at Irish Eyes restaurant in Lewes.
The event includes dinner, cash bar, entertainment, door prizes and a raffle for an inland bays quilt.
At noon on a blustery October Sunday, Lewes Beach came to life with the electronic sounds of beeping, the clatter of stones on metal and laughter.
The Mason Dixon Treasure Club, about 20 strong, gathered for its semi-annual beach hunt. Most of the members are from Delaware, but some come from as far away as Pennsylvania. The “field” was a small section of beach, designated by flags, in which “regular” coins were buried (or “seeded,” in treasure-hunt parlance), as well as some color-coded tokens and costume jewelry that could be turned in at the end of the day for prizes.
Club Secretary Janet Marvel of Clarksville, who founded the club with her husband, Paul, 40 years ago, watched from the sidelines. Since Marvel herself seeded the field, she knows when each hunter is about to hit on one of the prizes. The secret to successful placing of “treasure” for the hunts, according to Marvel, is all in the wrist.
“You just whip it,” she said, demonstrating the necessary action.
Official trick-or-treating times for most local towns are this weekend. Kids can grab a costume, flashlight and pillowcase for the sweetest night of their year.
Adults who are handing out candy are being encouraged to turn on their front-door lights and/or display pumpkins or other decorations.
• Bethany Beach — Monday, Oct. 31, 6 to 8 p.m.
Lighthouse Dance & Yoga offers eclectic show
Dancing in the dark was never this spooky.
Lighthouse Dance & Yoga will become a Haunted Dance House on Friday, Oct. 28, from 7 to 11 p.m.
In a unique twist to the typical haunted house, the Route 54 attraction is filled with iconic villains and characters from famous classical ballets and other shows.
One lucky person could be driving a brand-new 2017 Toyota Camry this December, as the Sussex Technical High School Band Program is now selling tickets for the raffle of a vehicle donated by Hertrich Toyota of Milford.
“I give all the credit to the parents,” said Band Director Ian Kenney of the Ravens Music Boosters, who have organized the raffle. “We have one band parent who knew somebody up at Hertrich in Milford and was able to say, ‘Hey, this band is taking a big trip and it’s costing them $1,600 per student. Any help you can give us would be appreciated.’ They ended up saying, ‘Well, we can give you a monetary donation, or we can get you a car to try to sell tickets to raffle off.’”
This is the first new-car raffle the band has done, said Kenney, noting that in a previous year there had been a used-car raffle.
Tickets cost $100 each and can be purchased online, by mail, during Sussex Tech home football games and at the band’s winter concert, while supplies last. Only 750 tickets are available for the raffle. The car is valued at up to $21,000.
An old house in Selbyville still holds its secrets. And on Halloween night, it will transform completely.
Selbyville’s Haunted Library will open for one night, during trick-or-treating on Monday, Oct. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m.
“It’s lot of fun,” said librarian and organizer Ronshell “Shelly” Purnell. “Every year it gets a little scarier.”
This Halloween, the Ocean View Police Department is offering a family-friendly trick-or-treating festival.
The second annual Cops & Goblins Halloween Festival will take place this Sunday, Oct. 30, from 1 to 4 p.m. in John West Park. Families who attend can enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, bounce houses, pumpkin decorating and more.
From aliens to zombies, the streets of Frankford will be taken over by all manner of costumed residents on Saturday, Oct. 29, as the town once again celebrates the season with its all-day Fall Festival.
It’s one of the biggest, spookiest celebrations in southeast Sussex County: The Selbyville Halloween Parade will return on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. The Fenwick Island Lions Club and the Town of Selbyville sponsor the event, which is more than 60 years old.
What makes it so special?
Coming off sold-out performances of “Same Time, Next Year,” the Bethany Area Repertory Theatre (BART) is back at the Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville this month with a new Bob Davis original, titled “Noah’s Arc.”
Despite the play’s title, the story’s plot has more to do with the extramarital affair of a struggling playwright than it does animals marching two by two.
“It’s far from a biblical story — it’s an adult comedy,” explained Davis, who not only wrote but who will also direct the production, along with assistant director and BART veteran Rusty Hesse.
“The story actually was told to me by someone — it’s actually is based on a true story.”
This weekend, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control’s (DNREC) Division of Parks & Recreation will host its second-annual Boo-B-Que By the Sea.
This weekend, Bear Trap Dunes will be hosting its first Fall Festival, inviting the community to enjoy a family-friendly day on the front lawn.
Artisans from around the region are preparing their wares this week for one of the most popular events of the “shoulder season” in Bethany Beach.
The Artisan Festival, now in its ninth year, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Bethany Beach fire hall.
Sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company, the fair features the work of more than 50 artisans, according to Auxiliary President Kristen Steele.
Pottery, glassware, earrings, baskets, clothing and a variety of artwork are just a few of the fine examples of craftsmanship offered at the fair.
Dagsboro resident Pam Browne is looking forward to the fair, where she and her cousin, Millsboro resident Renee Valeski, will once again share their “deco-mesh” wreaths.
The two began making the colorful wreaths about two years ago.
In the U.S., blue stars have long honored military service members. Now, Fenwick Island is getting its own Blue Star Byway marker, a plaque being installed at Fenwick Island Town Park.
After years of pursuing the memorial, the Barefoot Gardeners Club will host a dedication ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m.
When Coastal Point Publisher Susan Lyons was helping her daughter plan a coastal Delaware wedding, she noticed it was difficult to find local vendors in one place.
With that thought in mind, Delaware Seaside Bride was created, with the mission of connecting couples-to-be to local wedding professions — all in one place.
Berlin, Md., musician-songwriter Bryan Russo is premiering his fourth album this weekend with a pair of shows in a magical southern Delaware location.
Families can run around or just relax. Either way, it’ll be a free-for-all with games, rides and more at Millville’s Great Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, Oct. 1.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., families can enjoy free games, pony rides, a bounce house, pumpkin decorating and more at the future site of the Millville Town Park, at 32517 Dukes Drive.