10th Annual Lewes Tulip Celebration Blooms on April 5-14, 2019


(Download List of Participating Restaurants)

 The Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s 10th annual Lewes Tulip Celebration will be blossoming on April 5-14, 2019.  It is a partnership with Lewes in Bloom, The Lewes Historical Society, Lewes Parks & Recreation Commission, the Zwaanendael Museum, the Historic Lewes Farmers Market and the Lewes Chamber restaurant members participating in the third annual “Lewes TWO-Lips Culinary Week.”  The broad-based committee, chaired by chamber-member and Mayor Ted Becker, is working on all aspects of the multifaceted event. This year’s celebration is receiving financial sponsorship by chamber-member Fulton Bank for the seventh consecutive year.

The timing of the tulips’ appearance is an inexact science and to that end, the committee expanded the time frame of the event to enhance the chances that the tulips will be visible during the event. The event dates (April 5-14) span two weekends with special events planned on Saturday, April 6.  On both April 6 & 7, the Tulip Celebration’s Photography Contest submissions will be displayed in a tent in Zwaanendael Park from 11a.m. – 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  and then it will be displayed inside the Fisher-Martin House from Sunday, April 7 – 14. On April 6, Lewes in Bloom will be staging a sale in Zwaanendael Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with potted tulips among other plant-related items for sale. On the following Saturday, April 13, their sale will be in front of Citizens Bank.  There are other activities taking place in Zwaanendael Park on April 6, including the Lewes Beekeeping Club sharing good family-friendly information, honey samples from their bees, a demonstration hive, and tools of the trade including a bee suit and smoker. They will offer seed packets of flowers to get your pollinator gardens started this spring. The Cape Artists will be painting in Zwaanendael Park on April 6 from 11 am – 1 pm depending on the weather conditions! Tulip arrangements by the Sussex Gardeners will be on display in the Zwaanendael Museum from April 5-19 during museum hours (10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday and Sundays from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.) The Lewes Historical Society is hosting an activity during the Tulip Celebration on Sunday, April 7th from Noon to 4 pm. They’ll commemorate the 206th Anniversary of the Bombardment of Lewes by the British during the War of 1812 at the Cannonball House Maritime Museum, located at 118 Front Street. As the sole survivor of a 22 hour bombardment, the Cannonball House bears the scar of the engagement in the form of a cannonball embedded in its foundation. The site houses Maritime History and some items related to the event that gave the town the nickname “Brave Little Lewes.”

The third “Lewes TWO-Lips Culinary Week” is collaboration with the Lewes Chamber of Commerce and its members in the restaurant sector, chaired by chamber board member Rich Garrahan, co-owner of the Crooked Hammock Brewery.  This Culinary Week format does not follow a traditional “Restaurant Week.”  Each participating business will identity a “specialty” menu offering that will be available from Friday, April 5 - Thursday, April 11. Patrons who order this specially designated item will fill out a raffle form that will enter them in the contest with all the others who order these items during the culinary week. The grand prize drawing will include a two-night stay at the Dogfish Inn (date restrictions apply) with gift certificates and merchandise donated by the participating restaurants. Download list of participating restaurants here or pick up a rack card at the Lewes Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.

The number of tulips and other spring bulbs planted in the City’s parks and other public locations expanded to more than 20,000. The locations of the plantings will be identified on the map produced in association with the celebration. More than 100 varieties will be on display. They were all planted by Lewes in Bloom volunteers, an organization of volunteers who promote the beautification of Lewes by planting flowerbeds and planters throughout the City and maintaining them during the entire growing season. Lewes in Bloom is coordinating a new feature to this year’s Tulip Celebration. 

The tulip planting locations as well as Lewes’ historic landmarks will be included on the Tiptoe to the Tulips Map and the Tiptoe to the Tulips Shuttle Tours coordinated with the Cape May-Lewes Ferry with docents from Lewes in Bloom – Fred Phillips and Cindy DeEmedio.  The trolley tours are only scheduled for April 6 & 13 at 11:15 and 12:30. The Tulip Shuttle Tours are $10, seating is limited and reservations can be made by after March 25 by calling the Lewes Chamber of Commerce - 302-645-8073. The tours depart from the Fisher-Martin House which is the Lewes Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center at 120 Kings Highway, next to the Zwaanendael Museum.

The event organizers created the Tip Toe To The Tulips Map that will be available beginning Thursday, April 4 at the Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center.  Each map will have a raffle ticket that can be torn off and dropped off no later than Sunday April 14 at one of the businesses listed on the map. All the raffle tickets will be collected after April 15 and there will be multiple-winner drawing with each winner receiving a gift certificate from one of the participating businesses listed on the map.

A photography contest is another component of the Tulip Celebration with judging in six categories – Lewes Architecture, Lewes Landscapes, Quintessential Lewes (subject matter that is uniquely Lewes), Tulips (images must be photographed in the Lewes geographic area), Lewes Food and a new category last year, Lewes in Black and White. No sepia submissions will be accepted in this category. All entries must be photographed in Lewes.  The cost to enter the contest is $5 per submission with a maximum of five entries per photographer. Each photograph can only be entered in one category and the photographer determines the category.  Monetary awards will be made for first, second and third place in each of the six subject categories. Other prizes include the Mayor’s Prize and a cash award from Coastal Cameral Club (CCC), a group that has collaborated on the photography contest for the past eight years and coordinated by CCC member Sue Eberhart. The judges are all professional photographers and chamber members.  Additionally, visitors to the photography exhibit will have the opportunity to select their favorite photograph and the winner will be awarded a special ribbon for the “People’s Choice Award” at the 2 p.m. ceremony on April 6. The Grand Prize winner will receive a cash prize of $100 from the chamber. Entries will be accepted beginning March 15 at the chamber’s visitor center in the Fisher-Martin House at 120 Kings Highway. 

On the Lewes beach side of town, three additional activities are taking place in the businesses under the Beacon Motel and one new event behind the Beacon Motel. Mare’s Bears will be hosting a Spring Flowers Quilt Exhibit in the Beacon Motel lobby on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. The Peninsula Gallery will hold a floral exhibition, “Spring Mix,” a multiple artist show designed to coincide with the Tulip Celebration, by members of The Washington Society of Landscape Painters. In all about t 20 artists will submit up to five images each that will then be juried down to 40 works to be included in the show that runs through the end of April. The exhibition will open on April 6 with a reception from 5-7 p.m. to which the public is invited. Images from the show are on the gallery’s website, www.peninsula-gallery.com. Floral Inspirations will be hosting flower arranging demonstrations on Friday, April 5 from 11 am to 2 pm. On Saturday, April 6 from 1 – 5 pm, a new event will be taking place behind the Beacon Motel - an Oyster Festival benefitting the Greater Lewes Foundation and Delaware Wild Lands. Oysters, Music, Beverages and more. Tickets are $50 and payment can be made on the Delaware Wild Lands website – www.DEWildlands.org.

The final schedule of events will be available in early April. The Tiptoe To The Tulips Map will be available at the Lewes Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, April 4. For more detailed information, contact the Lewes Chamber of Commerce at (302)645-8073.    

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