This year’s annual Lewes Christmas parade, presented by the City of Lewes and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, takes place on December 7 at 5 p.m. (Rain/Snow Date: Saturday, December 14 at the same time.) The parade’s theme is “Celebrating an Old Fashioned Christmas in Lewes.”  Jeffrey M. Fried has been named the Honorary Grand Marshal. Jeffrey served as President and CEO of Beebe Healthcare for twenty-four years, from January 1995 until March 2019. Under Mr. Fried’s leadership, Beebe Healthcare earned a number of national and local awards during his tenure including its Executive Staff being named “Top Leadership Team in the Country for Small Hospitals” by Health Leaders magazine, the medical center being awarded the W.L. Gore Quality Award for overall quality and was the first hospital in Delaware to receive this award. Mr. Fried has been very involved outside the hospital serving twice as Board President of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, President of the Sussex County Chapter of the American Heart Association and also served on the Board of the Sussex Family YMCA as well as Fulton National Bank Advisory Board.

Jim Smith, who is the immediate Past President of the Lewes Chamber Board of Directors, will announce the parade for the second consecutive year. The City of Lewes Mayor and Council members, followed by the Chamber’s Board of Directors, will lead the other parade entries from the line-up area on Sussex Drive and the Highland Acres neighborhood down the parade route along Savannah Road to Second Street. 

Prizes are awarded in a number of categories including a prize that was introduced last year, funded by John Ellsworth, who is a longtime parade entrant and multiple-times winner of the Best Original Entry prize. John is encouraging entrants to add a sound component to their entries and is funding three cash awards, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, for those entries that enhance their entries with sound. 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 need to be decorated. Entrants will be notified in a mailing after November 26 with their entry number and their parade lineup time.  The parade lineup takes place from 3:30-4:15 p.m. and the parade begins at 5 p.m. Entrants for Saturday’s parade are asked to commit to the Rain/Snow date on the following Saturday, if it is necessary.

After the parade, the tradition has been to officially illuminate the Christmas tree in Zwaanendael Park followed by candlelight caroling in the park, led by Christy Taylor with sound by Bill Larsen.  For the third year, the City has made arrangements to have a fresh-cut tree moved into Zwaanendael Park between the museum and the Fisher-Martin House. This year’s tree is a Norway Spruce donated by Lenore Koors and the Koors family. 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 5, with the Lewes Merchants’ 33rd 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 to his Lewes house in front of Citizens Bank that evening in advance of his arrival at the Lewes Christmas Parade on Saturday night. On Friday, December 6, the Children’s Beach House (CBH) hosts a Winter White Holiday Celebration benefit from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. The benefit is open to the public and tickets can be purchased by calling 302-645-9184 or online at The Lewes Historical Society’s 46th Annual Christmas Tour of Lewes takes place on Saturday, December 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Also that day, Lewes in Bloom is hosting their 6th annual Christmas Market at St. Peter’s Church yard from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., selling live Christmas wreaths, bundled fresh greens, floral arrangements and Lewes in Bloom merchandise. Another event Saturday at St. Peter’s Church from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. is the ECW Soup Luncheon in the Parish Hall, in conjunction with the Christmas Tour of Lewes.  Tour goers are also invited to visit the Zwaanendael Museum to see their holiday decorations and current exhibits. There are numerous other activities throughout the Lewes area associated with the holiday weekend celebrations. For a complete listing, visit the chamber’s website: and click on the calendar tab.  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 7.

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Phone 302-645-8073
Toll-Free 877-465-3937

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Chamber Hours of Operation

Year Round
M-F 10am - 4pm
Columbus Day Weekend to Memorial Day Weekend 
Saturday and Sunday - closed