The Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Lewes Tulip Celebration will be blossoming on April 3-12, 2020  It is a partnership with Lewes in Bloom, The Lewes Historical Society, Lewes Parks & Recreation Commission and the Zwaanendael Museum.  The broad-based committee, chaired by 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 eighth consecutive year.

The timing of the tulips’ appearance is an inexact science and the mild winter has increased the probability that the dates of the celebration may not exactly coincide with the tulips blooming! The event dates (April 3-12) span two weekends with special events planned on Saturday, April 4th.

The number of tulips and other spring bulbs planted in the City’s parks and other public locations expanded to more than 23,000. 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 that promotes the beautification of Lewes by planting flowerbeds and planters throughout the City and maintaining them during the entire growing season.

Children’s Photography Exhibition: A new feature of this year’s event is the opportunity for children in grades K-5 to submit photos taken in Lewes with either a smart phone or a point & shoot camera for an exhibition that is a partnership with the Lewes Historical Society. The entries will be on display from April 3-11 in the Lewes History Museum at the Margaret H. Rollins Community Center, 101 Adams Avenue, during their hours of operation. There is one photograph submission per child and the printed copy of the photograph should be submitted with no mat and unframed. Submissions will be accepted March 9 – 20th at the chamber’s visitor center, Monday-Friday and Saturday, March 14th from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Tulip Trolley Tours: The popular Tiptoe To The Tulips Trolley Tours, presented in collaboration with the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, take place on Saturday, April 4 & 11 with departures at 11:15 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. both days. Tickets are $10 and are sold exclusively by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce by calling their visitor center – 302-645-8073. There are a limited number of tickets. Tours depart from the chamber’s visitor center in the Fisher-Martin House at 120 Kings Highway, next to the Zwaanendael Museum.

Photography Contest & Exhibition: The Tulip Celebration’s Photography Contest is taking place again this year with five categories (slightly different category names from past years): Lewes Tulips; Lewes Beaches; The Tastes of Lewes; Lewes, A Town of Special Events and Lewes, A Historical Town. The fee is $5 per entry with a maximum of 5 entries per person. Entries will be accepted beginning March 9 – 20th, Monday – Friday and Saturday, March 14 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  The specifications are to securely mount an unframed photograph on foam board-do not use adhesive spray; add a white mat on top of the photograph. Dimensions: 11” X 14” maximum. 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 nine 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 4. The Grand Prize winner will receive a cash prize of $100 from the chamber. All submissions will be displayed at the chamber’s Visitor Center in the historic Fisher-Martin House at 120 Kings Highway and at the Zwaanendael Museum during their hours of operation from April 3 - 11.

Tiptoe To The Tulips Map: The event organizers created the Tiptoe To The Tulips Map that will be available beginning Thursday, April 1 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 12 at one of the businesses listed on the map. All the raffle tickets will be collected after April 12 and there will be a multiple-winner drawing with each winner receiving a gift certificate from one of the participating businesses listed on the map.

Beekeeping Club & Cape Artists painting: There are other activities taking place in Zwaanendael Park on April 4, 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 4 from 11 am – 1 pm depending on the weather conditions!

Tulip Arrangements: Tulip arrangements by the Sussex Gardeners will be on display in the Zwaanendael Museum from April 3-12 as well as the museum’s collection of Dutch Delft blue pottery. Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday and Sundays from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The museum will be closed Easter Sunday, April 12.

Flower Arranging Demonstrations including Tulip Sales:  Two florist shops in Lewes are participating in the Tulip Celebration. Owner/designer Mayumi Williamson of Flowers by Mayumi, located in the historic business district at 128 Second Street, will be hosting a drop in floral arranging demonstration on April 3 from 11 – 11:30 a.m.  Floral Inspirations, located on the beach side of the canal at 524 E. Savannah Road, in the shops under the Beacon Motel, will be doing flower arranging demonstrations on Saturday, April 4 & 11 from 11 am to 2 pm. They will have a wide variety of colorful spring tulips on hand for purchase as well. In addition to the classic tulip they’ll have assorted parrot tulips, frill tulips and French tulips. Pop in to see the difference during the Lewes Tulip Celebration because these iconic spring blooms are only available for a limited time.  Owner/designer Ken Norman encourages people to stop in just for the smell of it.

Easter Plant Sale: On April 10 & 11, Lewes in Bloom will be staging an Easter Flower sale in front of Citizens Bank on Second Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For additional information, call the chamber at 302-645-8073.

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