Spring Forward


Ten area traditions that will help you forget about winter

hile March brings the first day of spring, it’s April and May we count on for sunnier, warmer weather. Spanning those two months are these 10 events that offer indoor and outdoor enticements, including food, drink, entertainment, flowers and plants, that should put the cold and snow in your rearview mirror.

Photo by Tim Hawk

1. Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch
Participants in the hit TV show Top Chef will join other award-winning chefs for the 22nd annual Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch on Sunday, April 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at DuPont Country Club. The event benefits Meals on Wheels, a statewide meal delivery program that provides food and care to senior citizens who are home-bound. For more information, visit mealsonwheelsde.org.

Photo by Jackie Kane Photography

2. Maker Fest at Hagley
The Maker Fest is for artists, scientists, tech enthusiasts, educators, students, hobbyists, and those who just want to experience all this event has to offer. The Hagley Museum and Library will host the festival on Saturday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The annual event brings together a large variety of creative artists who will be showcasing and demonstrating their artwork or crafts. Featured work will include 3D printing, woodworking, robotics, fiber art and more. Admission is free to Hagley members and kids 5 and under. Non-members pay $5 for adults and $3 for youth 6-18. For more information, visit hagley.org.

Photo courtesy of Mt. Cuba Center

3. Enjoy the Wildflowers at Mt. Cuba
Say goodbye to snow and hello to spring at Mt. Cuba Center’s Wildflower Celebration on Sunday, April 28, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Guests are invited to walk Mt. Cuba’s trails and take in the flowers that bloom for only a few weeks after the ground thaws. Enjoy live music from the Flatland Drive Bluegrass Band and guitarist Jenn Minor. Food and drink will be available from many vendors, and there will be activities for all ages, including demonstrations, informative stations, lawn games, crafts, and for the first time this year, a plant sale. Free parking is available at 1003 Old Wilmington Rd., and guests can choose to walk on a path or take the shuttle to get to the event. For more information, visit visitwilmingtonde.com.

Photo by Tim Hawk

4. Delaware Marathon
The 16th annual Delaware Marathon Running Festival takes place on Sunday, April 28. Runners will gather at 8:30 a.m. at Wilmington’s Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park, located near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, next to the Amtrak train station. Runners may participate in a marathon, half marathon, 5K, four-person relay, or kids fun run. Everyone who crosses the finish line will receive a medal. This year, the design is a compilation of Wilmington landmarks – and it is also a bottle opener! For serious runners, there’s a second medal to earn, called the BFD. Just run any length race on April 28, any length race in Fredrick, Maryland, on May 4-5, and the Baltimore 10-miler on June 1, and you will receive the BFD medal. To register for this event or get more information, go to runsignup.com/Race/DE/Wilmington/DELAWARERUNNINGFESTIVAL.

Photo courtesy of Delaware Nature Society

5. Native Plant Sale May 2-4
Delaware Nature Society is hosting its annual Native Plant Sale, which will include more than 300 wildflowers, shrubs, ferns, trees and aquatic plants. The sale will include rare and unusual plants, as well as plants that thrive in different conditions, such as drought tolerant, and greenery that will attract wildlife, like butterflies and birds. The sale will take place at Coverdale Farm Preserve over three days. On Thursday, May 2, the sale is open only to members, from 3-7 p.m. It’s open to the public on Friday, May 3, from 3:30-7 p.m., and Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit the events page on delawarenaturesociety.org.

Photo courtesy of Delaware Villages

6. Dover Days Festival
On Saturday, May 4, enjoy a fun-filled day, starting at 9:30 a.m., in Downtown Historic Dover. That’s when the 86th annual Dover Days Festival will take place, kicking off with the “biggest parade in Kent County,” led by Gov. John Carney as grand marshal. There will be moon bounces, food and merchandise vendors, and games for all ages. Other activities include traditional maypole dancing, antique automobile rides, and reenactments from the Revolutionary War, WWII, and the Civil War. The festival will also include a colonial artisan village, showcasing the history and heritage of the First State. For more information, visit the events and festivals page on visitdelawarevillages.com.

Photo Tim Hawk

7. Point-to-Point is May 5
Point-to-Point at Winterthur, perhaps Delaware’s grandest tailgating tradition, returns for its 41st year on Sunday, May 5. As one of Delaware’s only steeplechase horse races, this event draws equestrian lovers from far and wide. Point-to-Point is also a vast picnic spread across the marvelous rolling hills of Winterthur, and gaining a spot to tailgate requires a reservation. Other activities include pony rides for the kids, a best-dressed contest (no hat contest this year) and a carriage parade. Festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. and go until 4 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit winterthur.org.

Photo courtesy of The Wilmington Flower Market

8. Wilmington Flower Market
The Wilmington Flower Market returns on Mother’s Day weekend, May 9-11, as it has every year since 1921, at Rockford Park. The market is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. In addition to plants and flowers, there will be items from the merchants and craft vendors for sale, and there will be carnival rides and games for the kids and live music. Also, Rockford Tower will be open to the public on these days, and guests are welcome to walk up the steps to the top for a view of the festival grounds and nearby neighborhoods. Proceeds benefit multiple children’s charities across Delaware. For more information about the event and its causes, visit wilmingtonflowermarket.org.

Photo Don Blake

9. A Day in Old New Castle
Saturday, May 18, will mark the 95th year the state’s oldest town has held “A Day in Old New Castle,” an event that reflects on some of the historic moments and places that have shaped the town’s 368-year history. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., public buildings and many private residences will be open so guests can learn the history in each place. They can also enjoy the thriving gardens while trying out the traditional period games, taking carriage rides through town, and watching reenactments with actors in full period costumes. For more information, search this event on visitwilmingtonde.com.

O&A File Photo

10. Bellefonte Arts Festival
A decade ago, a group of people created a festival to showcase the amazing artists and musicians who live in the little town of Bellefonte, north of Wilmington off Philadelphia Pike. Now the Bellefonte Arts Festival has grown to more than 56 artists, and their work and much more will be on display Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (rain date Sunday). The festival includes not only art but antiques, music and a food court for guests to enjoy. This event is for all ages, and a “kids korner” is set up for the young guests, while there is a beer tent for adults. There will be free parking at Mt. Pleasant Elementary and along the streets of the town, with the exception of Brandywine Boulevard, where vendors will set up. For more information, visit bellefontearts.com.

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