The Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s eighth annual Lewes Tulip Celebration will be blossoming on April 6-15, 2017. 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 new participants, the Lewes Chamber restaurant members participating in the inaugural “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 fifth consecutive year.
The timing of the tulips’ appearance is an inexact science and to that end, the committee has expanded the time frame of the event to enhance the chances that the tulips will be visible during the event. The event dates (April 6-15) span two weekends with special events planned on the first weekend - April 6, 7 & 8. On April 8, 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 in advance of the Easter holiday weekend the next week. Also in Zwaanendael Park on April 8, Ken Norman, owner of Floral Inspirations, will be demonstrating how to arrange tulips with simple, creative tips. The GFWC-Zwaanendael Women’s Club will also be in the Park on April 8 taking orders for 6” geranium pots for pick up on May 5th, the sale of which benefits their donations to the many locally-based organizations they support. Flowers by Mayumi, located at 128 Second Street, invites everyone to stop by the shop and watch informally as their designers create beautiful floral arrangements on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8 during shop hours - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The inaugural “Lewes TWO-Lips Culinary Week” is collaboration with the Lewes Chamber of Commerce and its members in the restaurant and food service sectors, located within the 19958 zip code, chaired by chamber board member Rich Garrahan, co-owner of the Crooked Hammock Brewery. It is the first time the Lewes Chamber members have organized a Culinary Week and its format will not follow a traditional “Restaurant Week.” Each participating business will identity a “specialty” menu offering that will be available from Thursday, April 6 - Thursday, April 13. Patrons who order this 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 an overnight stay in Lewes with gift certificates and merchandise donated by the participating restaurants. A complete list of the Lewes businesses will be available closer to the event.
The number of tulips and other spring bulbs planted in the City’s parks and other public locations expanded to 19,500 this year compared to 15,000 last year. 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 received top honors in the prestigious 2015 America in Bloom national awards program at their annual awards held in Holland, Michigan on September 26, 2015. Lewes received a top five bloom rating out of a possible five blooms and they also won in their competition category - Champions for small towns with populations under 5,000. Lewes received special mention for its community floral displays.
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 the Lewes Historical Society - Connie Benko and Marcos Salaverria and Warren Golde, founder and past co-chair of Lewes in Bloom and the current Lewes in Bloom co-chair Judy Hanson. The trolley tours are only scheduled for April 6-8 at times to be determined closer to the event. The Tulip Shuttle Tours are $10, seating is limited and reservations can be made by calling the Lewes Chamber of Commerce - 302-645-8073. The tours depart from the bus stop at the corner of Second and Market Streets.
The event organizers created the Tip Toe To The Tulips Map that will be available beginning Thursday, April 6 at the Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s visitor center in the Fisher-Martin house located in Zwaanendael Park behind the Zwaanendael Museum. Each map will have a raffle ticket that can be torn off and dropped off no later than Saturday, April 15 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 this 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. 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 8. The Grand Prize winner will receive a cash prize of $100 from the chamber. Entries will be accepted beginning March 20 at the chamber’s visitor center in the Fisher-Martin House at 120 Kings Highway. Deadline for entry is March 27 by 4 p.m. For entry rules and more information, call the chamber at 645-8073 or visit www.LewesChamber.com. The photographs will be on display in Zwaanendael Park on April 6 & 7 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. and April 8 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
On the Lewes beach side of town, two events are taking place in the businesses under the Beacon Motel. Mare’s Bears will be hosting a Spring Flowers Quilt Exhibit in the Beacon Motel lobby on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. The Peninsula Gallery will hold a floral exhibition, “Spring into Summer,” from April 1-28 in support of both the annual Tulip Celebration (April 6-15) and Lewes in Bloom’s Garden for All Ages project on the grounds of the new Lewes Public Library. The exhibit will be a multiple artist and media show. A portion of the show’s sales will be donated to Lewes in Bloom who will also be raffling off a donated painting by Jane Ellan Golde. The exhibition will open on April 1st 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. The exhibit continues through April 28. The Peninsula Gallery will be open Tuesday thru Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. -3 p.m.
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 6. For more detailed information, contact the Lewes Chamber of Commerce at (302)645-8073.