A look at more than 30 events that will help you shake off the winter chill
By Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald
As we yearn for warmer temps, let us suggest a range of fairer-weather events that promise to inspire you to get out and about. Following is a preview of good times ahead.
Perhaps the key to what has been called “the best party in town” is the spirit of cooperation that pervades those rehearsals and the show itself.
Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship
March 2-6, Chase Fieldhouse, Wilmington
This is a BIG “W” for Wilmington! Schools hitting the court include Davidson, Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, La Salle, URI, Richmond, St. Joe’s, St. Louis, St. Bonaventure, UMASS, and VCU.
Market Street Music — March Concerts
March 3-31, First & Central Presbyterian Church, Rodney Square, Wilmington
Market Street Music re-opens its Thursday Noontime and Festival Concert series, beginning with Center City Chorale’s “A Miscellaneous Mass” and continuing with artists like Tiger Lily Trio, Filament, Jonathan Whitney Trio, accordionist Dallas Vietty and organist David Schelat.
Shine A Light — Best of 10
March 5, The Queen, Wilmington
Is there anyone who isn’t anticipating the return of this mega-monster Best Of concert? Shine a Light is back in full force with 50+ musicians, a 40+ song set list, and the best musical memories to take you through the event’s storied 10-year history.
Delaware Symphony Orchestra — Classics Concerts
March 11-April 8-May 13, The Grand, Wilmington
The DSO is back live at Copeland Hall. The orchestra’s full-length Classics Series resumed in February and continues the next few months with themes like Voyage!, Sing!, and Transcend! March highlights include a performance of Holst’s The Planets with guest pianist Drew Petersen and the Wilmington Children’s Chorus.
Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection
March 12-June 6, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington
This collection features more than 60 objects, spanning over 30 years of Tiffany’s career. It showcases Tiffany’s innovative work in leaded and blown glass, including famous windows, lamps, and vases. On April 29, a guest lecture/happy hour with Metropolitan Museum of Art Curator Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen focuses on Tiffany as well. Wrapping up the Tiffany is the May 14 Brunch at Tiffany’s – the theme of the 2nd Annual Brunch, Brushes & Blooms event.
St Patrick’s Day Parade & Loop
March 12, King Street, Downtown Wilmington & City Nightspots
If you don’t enjoy this event, you’re not a true (green) Delawarean. The Painting of the Green Line, the pageantry, the music, the Hooley — all marking 45 years of Irish-themed revelry in Wilmington. Remember, everyone is a little Irish at the Wilmington St. Patrick’s Day Parade!
Returning after a two-year COVID break, the 31st St. Patrick’s Loop begins at 4pm and features an Irish-themed bar crawl at venues throughout the city. Traditional Irish hot spots such as Kelly’s Logan House and Catherine Rodney’s will be joined by a host of nightspots that will be Irish for the day.
City Theater Company — Blues In My Soul
March 18-26, City Theater Company @ The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington
CTC celebrates the new work of local playwright, David Robson, with his World Premiere of Blues in My Soul: The Legend & Legacy of Lonnie Johnson. The piece reimagines a 1959 meeting between blues guitar legend Lonnie Johnson and music historian Chris Albertson, riffing on issues of authenticity, injustice, and legacy, and working through a catalog of great music.
Wilmington Drama League — August: Osage County & Noises Off!
March 25-April 3 & April 29-May 8, Wilmington Drama League, Wilmington
Drama League presents two shows in three months, starting with August: Osage County — the Weston family’s return to Oklahoma to care for their ailing yet manipulative mother after the patriarch goes missing. Noises Off! pokes at the follies of theatre folk whose egos, memory loss, and passionate affairs turn performances into high-risk adventure.
Clifford Brown Year Round — New Generations, New Experiences, New Work
March 25, CSC Station, Wilmington
An evening of new artistic experiences with iterations of jazz and other art forms from culinary experimentations to live painting. Musical guests: The Horizon Quartet, U.S.E. Trio, and Chien Chien Lu; live painting by local abstract artist Rebecca Howell; Wilmington Brew Works’ newest beers and ciders; Green Box Kitchen’s fresh-pressed juices
The Grand & The Playhouse on Rodney Square — April Shows
April 1-24, The Grand & The Playhouse, Wilmington
The two venues are hopping the entire month with the music and humor of Straight No Chaser: Back in the High Life (April 1); contemporary hip-hop violinist Damien Escobar (April 2); Food Network star Alton Brown’s blend of comedy, cooking, and “science-y stuff” (April 9); and the reinvention of Riverdance, the beloved Irish and international dance favorite (April 22-24).
Arden Concert Gild — Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog & Julianna Barwick
April 3 & May 8, Arden Gild Hall, Arden
Arden is excited to welcome Marc Ribot and his explosive trio, Ceramic Dog. Ribot is the most innovative of rock guitarists, well known for his work with Tom Waits and Elvis Costello. Next, composer/vocalist/producer Julianna Barwick — who has performed with Yoko Ono, The Flaming Lips, and Phillip Glass — brings her distinct blend of electronic composition to the Arden stage.
Delaware Theatre Company — My Life on a Diet & Brighton Beach Memoirs
April 6-17 & May 11-22, Delaware Theatre Company, Wilmington
Academy Award–nominated and Emmy Award–winning writer and actress Renée Taylor shares tales of memorable roles and just as many fad diets in My Life on a Diet. Next, Bud Martin directs Neil Simon’s coming-of-age comedy, Brighton Beach Memoirs, about old-fashioned family drama and teen angst in 1930s Brooklyn.
Blue Rocks Opening Weekend
April 8-10, Frawley Stadium, Wilmington Waterfront
Wilmington’s boys of summer start the season in a three-game matchup with Brooklyn. A day at Frawley Stadium is a full-on, family-fun experience filled with food, music, games, mascots (Rocky & Mr. Celery!)…and great baseball, too.
April 9, The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington
This fundraiser party connects to the Contemporary’s Winter/Spring exhibition season themed, NARRATIVE. The party features a new work unveiling by Theater-in-Residence City Theater Company; a DJ and live music fusion; art demos; heavy hors d’oeuvres and open bar. In addition, TDC’s upcoming Member Night themes include Chinese Folk Dance (March 17) and “To the Max” Jazz Ensemble (April 21).
Candlelight Theatre — Big Fish & Clue On Stage
March 19-April 24 & May 14-June 26, Candlelight Theatre, Arden
On the heels of a sold-out Mamma Mia! run, these two performances continue celebrating the “return to live” at the dinner theater nestled within the woods of Arden. Big Fish will regale audiences with wild storytelling tempered by the bonds of family, while Clue invites you into all the murder, mystery, and hilarity of the cult fave board game and movie.
Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch
April 24, DuPont Country Club, Wilmington
This is quite possibly the best food-focused celebration you’ll experience all year. This much-loved foodie event from Meals on Wheels Delaware marks 25 years of bringing award-winning chefs to the First State. Indulge in tastings, brunch cocktails, live entertainment, and more.
The Delaware Marathon Running Festival
April 24, Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, Wilmington
This annual tradition features an assemblage of races for every age and skill. A marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, and kids fun run take runners through scenic downtown and riverfront locations, including the Jack Markell Trail. The start/finish line at Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park is a great party for non-runners as well, with live music, vendors, and family-friendly activities.
The Tatnall School — Schoolhouse Rock!
April 29 & 30, May 1 & 2, The Tatnall School, Wilmington
The musical will open this spring at the Laird Performing Arts Center, bringing to life all the beloved classic Saturday morning educational songs with a live band, student performers, and even a few special guests.
April 29 & 30, May 1, Mt. Cuba Center, Hockessin
Enjoy a refreshing, breathtaking stroll through native blooms at the peak of their glory. The weekend-long celebration includes days filled with live music, gardening activities, family programming, and more. Food selections and plants will be available for purchase.
April 30, Hagley Museum & Library, Wilmington
Hagley’s family-friendly meld of technology and fun offers science shows, robotics demos, and hands-on activities. Two shows — Cool Chemistry and Fun with Physics — tackle these oft-challenging subjects making them lively and entertaining. In between, Delaware Libraries provide kid-focused STEM activities and local robotics team MOE 365 FTC show off their creations.
First State Ballet Theatre — Swan Lake
April 30-May 1, The Grand, Wilmington
Set to the magnificent Tchaikovsky score, Swan Lake is considered to be the greatest of all the classical full-length ballets. Audiences will be mesmerized by this timeless love story of the Swan Queen Odette and her Prince Siegfried, who seek to break the curse of evil with love.
Jacqueline Kennedy & Henry Francis du Pont: From Winterthur to the White House
May 7-January 8, 2023, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, Wilmington
In 1961, an unusual partnership formed between First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and Delaware collector Henry Francis du Pont: She tapped du Pont to lead her White House restoration project. Now, the story of this historic collaboration will come alive through artifacts, archives, and images, seen “behind the scenes” for the first time in history.
Wilmington Ballet — May Events
May 7 & May 22, Various Venues
Wilmington Ballet presents a Musical Theater Workshop Performance at The Delaware Contemporary on May 7, where students can study acting, vocal, and dance Techniques, as well as creative writing, technical theater and design. Later in the month, they present their spring performance (May 22).
Point to Point
May 8, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, Wilmington
The annual steeplechase races on the rolling grounds of Winterthur are like the official heralding of spring. Now in its 44th year, Point-to-Point welcomes you back — so hone your tailgate talents, don your most fancy frock, and fill your day with mimosas and majestic horse racing.
Wilmington Grand Prix
May 13-15, Downtown Wilmington
For the 13th year, the event is part of USA Cycling’s National Race Calendar. The Monkey Hill Time Trial and Kick-off Party opens in Brandywine Park May 13. A community ride-along, pro-am races, and a street festival take over Market Street May 14. May 15 sees the return of the Governor’s Ride and Delaware Gran Fondo — joining locals, visitors, and pros for a scenic ride that starts at the Delaware Art Museum and includes dozens of cultural attractions, like rides through the Hagley and Winterthur grounds.
Clues at the Zoo
May 14, Brandywine Zoo, Wilmington
This escape room-style adventure is for sleuths ages 15 and older. Grab the family and hunt for clues, solve some puzzles, enjoy snacks and beverages…just be wary of that sneaky thief, The Raptor, who pulled off a “heist” at last year’s event. (Must have at least one cell phone in participating group.)
The Ladybug Festival
May 20, LOMA Block, Downtown Wilmington
Gable’s signature event returns to fill Market Street with music of, by, and for women. The hours-long, open-air festival will feature 40 artists and is free to attend. Stay tuned for more announcements regarding the full lineup and schedule.
OperaDelaware — The Marriage of Figaro
May 20 & 22, The Grand, Wilmington
OperaDelaware’s season culminates in “one of the greatest operas of all time.” Composed by Mozart in 1786, this legendary story finds Figaro and his love Susanna as their wedding day approaches. Their boss, the wicked Count Almaviva, has his wandering eye fixed on the young bride. What happens next is comedic and operatic joy at its most high.
2nd Annual Shadfest
May 22, Brandywine Park, Wilmington
Celebrate the Brandywine River and the return of the American Shad. Brandywine Shad 2020 plans to remove or modify several dams, enabling shad and other migratory fish to spawn up river for the first time in 300 years. The Fest includes partner environmental organizations’ educational exhibits, a 5K ShadRun, fishing lessons, face painters and arts vendors, as well as sips from Wilmington Brew Works and sounds by Sin City Band.
City Restaurant Week
May 23-28, Downtown Wilmington
Celebrate the culinary riches of downtown Wilmington (and the surrounding area) with featured menus from some of your favorite hotspots and some new arrivals. Two-course lunches run $15; three-course dinners $35.