90 th Annual Lewes Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 3rd at 5 p.m.
Honorary Grand Marshal is
Former Mayor Ted Becker
This year’s annual Lewes Christmas parade, presented by the City of Lewes and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, takes place on December 3 at 5 p.m. (Rain/Snow Date: Saturday, December 10 at the same time.) The parade’s theme is “Celebrating an Old-Fashioned Christmas in Lewes.” The parade organizing committee is co-chaired by Craig Beebe of NextHome Tomorrow Realty and G.W. Thompson of Canary Point Consulting. The committee has named former Mayor Ted Becker as this year’s Honorary Grand Marshal, recognizing his years of service to the Lewes community.
Jim Smith, Past President of the Lewes Chamber Board of Directors and Mike DiPaolo, Delaware Community Foundation Vice President, will reprise their roles as parade co-announcers. This year’s parade judges represent three of the organizations that Mayor Becker has been affiliated with – Delaware River & Bay Authority – Heath Gehrke, DRBA Director of Ferry Operations; Greater Lewes Foundation – W. Joseph Stewart, Board Chair; and the Lewes Junction Railroad & Bridge Association – Randy Voith, Board President. The Judges’ Reviewing Stand is provided by Double E Lawn Care’s owner Tom Engle and the lighting and decorations are provided by the Lewes Lions Club, coordinated by Chris Russ.
Due to the demolition of Shields Elementary School there will be new lineup areas for parade entrants. There will be three lineup areas this year – both parking lots on either side of the Lewes Elementary School building and the Highland Acres neighborhood, accessed by Sussex Drive off Savannah Road. Parade entrants will be notified which location they should go to on the day of the parade and time to report in a letter mailed the week before the parade. The parade will step off one block closer to downtown Lewes rather than the Sussex Drive departure point from prior years. The City of Lewes Mayor and Council members, followed by the Chamber’s Board of Directors, will lead the other parade entries from the lineup area in the new Lewes School parking lot adjacent to the main school entrance. Parade entries in the school bus parking lot on the other side of Lewes Elementary and the Highland Acres neighborhood on Sussex Drive will be fed into the parade route on Savannah Road to Second Street.
Prizes are awarded in a number of categories including a prize that was introduced three years ago recognizing entrants that add an exceptional sound component to their entry. The other prize categories are: Marching Group, Band, Clown, Equestrian, Decorated Classic Car (vintage 1967 or older), Decorated Vehicle (after 1967 or more recent), Fire Company, Commercial Float, Community Organization Float and Youth Organization Float. ALL entries must be pre-registered and need to be decorated. Entrants will be notified in a mailing sent November 22 with their entry number, their lineup location and lineup time. The parade lineup takes place from 3:15-4:15 p.m. and the parade begins at 5 p.m. Entrants for Saturday’s parade are asked to ommit to the Rain/Snow date on the following Saturday, if it is necessary. After the parade, everyone is invited to join Mayor Andrew Williams as he officially illuminates the Christmas tree in Zwaanendael Park followed by candlelight caroling in the park, led by Christy Taylor with some of her music students. For the sixth year, the City has made arrangements to have a fresh-cut tree moved into Zwaanendael Park between the museum and the Fisher-Martin House. The tree lighting ceremony will commence shortly after the last parade entry passes by the Judges’ Reviewing Stand in Zwaanendael Park.
The Christmas Parade is the culmination of a number of special events and activities associated with the celebration of the Christmas Weekend in Historic Lewes. The festivities kick off on Thursday, December 1 with the Lewes Merchants’ 35th annual Hospitality Night from 5-8 p.m. in the historic commercial district. Second Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 4=8 p.m. on Thursday night. Santa will make a brief visit that evening to his Lewes house at the corner of Second and Bank Streets. There are numerous other activities throughout the Lewes area associated with the holiday weekend celebrations. Visit the chamber’s website: www.leweschamber.com/events.
The chamber’s visitor center is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and will be open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 3.