Lights, Camera, Action

At Chris Yandell and Kate Gallagher’s wedding, guests got the red carpet treatment—literally.



Chris and Kate show the love. On Christmas Eve in 2009, Kate Gallagher sat down before a TV to watch the video her boyfriend, Chris Yandell, had selected. Nothing new there. The couple, who met at a coed volleyball game, are diehard movie fans. “We like going to movies and watching movies,” Chris says. “It’s our time together.”

In this movie, however, Chris was the star, the filmmaker and the screenwriter. The tongue-in-cheek flick illustrated the couple’s differences. “He likes the Cowboys and I’m an Eagles fan,” Kate says. “He showed himself with a big plate of meat, and I’m a vegetarian. Then it got mushy with the reasons why he loved me. In the video, he said he had something to ask me.” At that point, the real-life Chris pulled out a ring and popped the question.

This wasn’t the first time Chris used technology to express his feelings. On the anniversary of their first date, he showed her a slide show of their moments together timed to a playlist. (To up the “awww factor,” he also lined the stairs with candles, scattered rose petals on the bedroom floor and had a picnic feast waiting.)

Flavored popcorn reflects the reception’s movie premiere theme.

“It was so corny-romantic,” Kate says of her anniversary surprise. “We started hugging and then slow-dancing to our song, ‘When You Love Someone,’ by Bryan Adams. It was like a movie.”

So it’s hardly surprising that the couple chose a movie premiere theme for their wedding reception, complete with paparazzi, flavored popcorn and movie ticket giveaways.

But like any Hollywood romance, this hero and heroine had to experience some twists and turns before they stepped on the red carpet.
 

 

The bride and groom take the spotlight on the dance floor. Act One

At the time of the couple’s engagement, Kate’s father had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and some of her parents’ savings were going toward medical care. Consequently, they had limited resources to contribute to the wedding.

Chris, who works for a valve-and-fitting company, was undaunted. “I was prepared to work more to spend whatever she wanted to spend.”

Kate, then a field superintendent for a construction flag company, decided to mix luck with determination. While perusing possible reception sites on the Web, she noticed the Free Wedding Giveaway contest sponsored by the Christiana Hilton. “She said, ‘Do you think I should enter?’” recalls Chris, who was watching TV while she surfed. “I said, ‘Yeah, why not?’”

For the required essay on her most romantic moment, Kate wrote about their anniversary night. The contest stipulated that entrants must be present at the February Christiana Hilton event to win, but Kate missed that part. She didn’t plan on attending the bridal fair.

Then she heard on the radio that brides who booked a reception at the Christiana Hilton would receive a discount. Having already decided the Hilton was on her short list, she went to the fair with her mother, sister Jamie, the matron-of-honor, and another bridesmaid. She didn’t tell them she’d entered the contest because “who actually wins something like this?” she says.

The hotel that year received more than 300 entries, says general manager Brad Wenger. The announcer named the top 10 finalists and read the top three essays.

When the appreciative oohs and ahs had died down, the announcer put the three names in a purse for a random drawing. Kate won. “Her face was great,” Wenger says of Kate’s shocked expression.
 

 

Attendees hit the red carpet to pose for paparazzi.Act Two

Before the contest, the couple had established a $20,000 wedding budget. With the services and products they received, they boosted thebudget to $50,000 without spending another dime. Vendors covered everything from a wedding dress to DJ talent to limousines. And, of course, the Christiana Hilton provided the reception. In a few instances, the couple paid for outside vendors because they had relationships with them.

Kate and Chris opted for a classic ceremony at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Newark. Kate selected a Maggie Sottero gown dress with a scoop neckline, a corset closure and embellished lace sprinkled over the tulle skirt. She carried roses, white mini-calla lilies and stephanotis with pearls.

The matron-of-honor and the junior bridesmaid both wore deep blue gowns while the rest of the bridesmaids were outfitted in cornflower blue. The flower girls, all cousins, wore matching blue sashes on their white dresses.

“Blue is our favorite color, and it looked good on everyone, whether they had a tan or not,” Kate says. It helps that it’s also the color of Chris’ favorite team, the Cowboys.
 

The bridesmaids’ dresses are cornflower blue.Act Three

Once the guests reached the Christiana Hilton, the glitz and glamour began. A paparazzo greeted guests on the red carpet where they posed before backdrops with all the contest vendors’ logos.

The bridal party lightened the mood by sporting props when they were announced into the banquet room.

Guest tables were given movie titles inspired by the guests assigned to them. The head table was “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” and the second head table was dubbed “The Wedding Crashers.” A group of Kate’s friends gathered at “The Hangover” table.

Either a white chocolate movie ticket or a chocolate movie clacker garnished each place setting. Taped to one seat at each table were movie tickets. “We felt since we’d won the contest, we wanted our guests to feel lucky and win something,” Kate says.

The “For Better or Worse Buffet” featured specialty popcorn with flavors like Oreo cookie, hot wing, cheesecake, blueberry, butter and loaded baked potato. The wedding party received mini-digital video camcorders.

DJ Dana McDonald happily obliged Kate’s request for the last song of the night, which started with “That’s What Friends Are For.” The music then scratched to a halt before McDonald launched Kate’s personal anthem, “Don’t Stop Believin’.” “I’ve never seen a dance floor so full,” Kate recalls.

After a honeymoon on Amelia Island, Fla.—part of their contest winnings—the couple returned to their Elkton, Md.,  home, where they often flip through their wedding album. “It was a perfect day,” Chris says. Kate agrees: “Winning the contest allowed us to make the day we’d been dreaming about come to life.”

Cue the happily-ever-after ending.

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January 2017

January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

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Greenville, DE  19807
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January 14, 15, 16 – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Invention Convention Lights, camera, action! This year’s Invention Convention features hands-on video...

Cost: $8 for adults, $6 for children between 4 and 14, and free for children under 4 a

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Hagley Museum
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Belly Dance Classes with Zahra Beginner & intermediate classes open to teens and adults Sundays in January starting Jan 8th Beginner: 2:30-3:30 p.m. Intermediate: 1 - 2 p.m (must get...

Cost: $15-$42

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Take the Lead Studio
320 Lantana Drive
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Cost: 40

Where:
Elements of Nutrition
4710 Kirkwood Hwy
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Cost: $35

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The Pond Ice Arena
101 John Campbell Rd
Newark, DE  19711
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The Rehoboth Beach Film Society will present its popular What Makes Us Tick? program during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, January 13-15. This analytical film and discussion series...

Cost: $9 - $10

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
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BROKEN ARROW: A NEIL YOUNG TRIBUTE Broken Arrow delivers the music of Neil Young; both the rockin' electric guitar driven favorites and the more country flavored classics with pedal steel and...

Cost: $12 ADV- $14 DOS

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World Cafe Live Wilmington
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Cost: Adults: $9 Children (3-17): $7 Seniors (60+): $8 Under 3: FREE Members: FREE

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Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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When the kids have a day off but the parents don’t, let them spend the day off of school doing something really cool…having fun at DMNH! Enjoy games, crafts, activities, and even a hot dog...

Cost: $20 for Members, $25 for Non-Members.

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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Science is for everyone! Join us for hands on crafts and activities that highlight science contributions to natural history from scientists all around the world. Learn how YOU can make a difference...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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January 14, 15, 16 – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Invention Convention Lights, camera, action! This year’s Invention Convention features hands-on video...

Cost: $8 for adults, $6 for children between 4 and 14, and free for children under 4 a

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum
Telephone: (302) 65802400 x 238
Contact Name: Jessica Eisenbrey
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

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Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30AM-12:00PM Fall session: Thursday, Dec 1st thru Thursday, December 15th Winter session: Tuesday, January 17th thru Thursday, March 30th   Drop in on Nature is...

Cost: see description

Where:
The Annex
501 Chandler Mill Rd
Kennett Square, PA  19348
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Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
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East Coast Garden Center Indoor Farmers Market Nov 8, 2016 - April 11, 2017  11 am- 2 pm 25 vendors Location:  East Coast Garden Center 30366 Cordrey Rd Millsboro, DE 19966 302-945-3489

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East Coast Garden Center
30366 Cordrey Rd
Millsboro, DE  19966
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East Coast Garden Center Indoor Farmer's Marke 25 vendors

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East Coast Garden Center
30366 Cordrey Rd
Millsboro, DE  19966
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A four-week series of ballroom dancing classes taught by teachers from the BlueBallroom. Tuesdays starting Jan. 10. Classes are $30 a lesson for Non-Members. Non-Member slots are limited. For...

Cost: $30

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University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
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The Cinema & the Arts film series proudly presents a screening of the documentary ART BASTARD on  Tuesday, January 17, 7:00 pm, at Cinema Art Theater, 17701 Dartmouth Drive in Dartmouth Plaza,...

Cost: $9

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

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The Division of Public Health offers its annual free flu vaccination event in the Legislative Hall Library, ground floor, 411 Legislative Ave., Dover, DE, on January 18, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. to...

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Legislative Hall Library
411 Legislative Ave.
Dover, DE  19901
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Do you want to learn how to make soap? This is your chance! Join me for a fun and informative class @ Liquid Alchemy. I will teach you how to create your own recipe and the in-and-outs of soap...

Cost: 45

Where:
Liquid Alchemy
28 Brookside Dr.
, DE  19804
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Sponsor: Rocker Soaps + Herbals
Telephone: 302-544-0391
Contact Name: Rachel Binkley
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Do you want to learn how to make soap? This is your chance! Join me for a fun and informative class @ Liquid Alchemy. I will teach you how to create your own recipe and the in-and-outs of soap...

Cost: 45.00

Where:
Liquid Alchemy
28 Brookside Dr.
Wilmington, DE  19804
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Sponsor: Rocker Soaps + Herbals
Telephone: 302-544-0391
Contact Name: Rachel Binkley
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30AM-12:00PM Fall session: Thursday, Dec 1st thru Thursday, December 15th Winter session: Tuesday, January 17th thru Thursday, March 30th   Drop in on Nature is...

Cost: see description

Where:
The Annex
501 Chandler Mill Rd
Kennett Square, PA  19348
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Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
Website »

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Guest speakers Patty Dailey-Lewis, executive director of the Beau Biden Foundation, and Delaware Family Court commissioner Loretta Young will discuss how participation in social media can too...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilmington University - Doberstein Admissions Ctr.
320 N DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE  19805
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Sponsor: Wilmington University College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
Telephone: 302-295-1164
Contact Name: Dr. Johanna Bishop
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Thursdays from 4:00PM-5:30PM Fall session: December 1st, 8th and 15th Winter session: Starts January 19th, every other Thursday until March 30th This program is based entirely outdoors and is...

Cost: Cost: $30 for TLC members / $40 for non-members

Where:
Bucktoe Creek Preserve
432 Sharp Rd
Avondale, PA  19311
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Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
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The 3rd Place and Bike Lane Cafe along with WestSide Grows and Delaware Permaculture bring you the West 7th Street Bazaar.  Happening EVERY 3rd Thursday of the month from January through May,...

Cost: Free Admission

Where:
The 3rd Place
1139 W. 7th Street
Wilmington, DE  19805
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Sponsor: West Side Grows
Telephone: 302-690-9459
Contact Name: Delaware Permaculture
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January 19 – Thursday – 6:30 p.m. Research Seminar: Amyrs Williams (Wesleyan University) – Reimagining the Modern Farm The seminar is open to the public and is based on a paper that is...

Cost: $0

Where:
Copeland Room, Hagley Library
298 Buck Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 65802400
Contact Name: Carol Lockman
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The Resident Ensemble Players, Delaware’s professional acting company performing at the University of Delaware, presents The Bells by Theresa Rebeck. During the great Yukon gold rush of the...

Cost: $15 - $30

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: (302) 831-2204
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HIGH & MIGHTY BRASS BAND There’s a reason that musical trailblazers from Galactic to DJ Logic have recently chosen to collaborate with High and Mighty Brass Band! and legends such as Dr. John,...

Cost: $15

Where:
World Cafe Live Wilmington
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 215-222-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Formed in 1992, Splintered Sunlight quickly became the most popular Grateful Dead Tribute band in the Philadelphia area, gaining praise from Dead Heads and Non Heads alike. Since that time,...

Cost: $10

Where:
World Cafe Live At The Queen
500 N Market St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Meeting every Friday, Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, 640 s. State Street, Dover, 7:30 pm., Private Dining Room #3 in the basement. For those who have, or think they may have a gambling problem....

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
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Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
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Ah, typecasting—the baritone is always the bad guy! In Devils, Drunks & Dastardly Dudes, we’ll go on an operatic journey of men behaving badly. We’ll add a tenor to the mix, too… but we...

Cost: $29-$59

Where:
OperaDelaware Studio
4 South Poplar St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: OperaDelaware
Telephone: 302-442-7809
Contact Name: Mary Wilcosky
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The Resident Ensemble Players, Delaware’s professional acting company performing at the University of Delaware, presents The Bells by Theresa Rebeck. During the great Yukon gold rush of the...

Cost: $15 - $30

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: (302) 831-2204
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Amateur and professional creators from the Wilmington community and beyond will sketch, paint and sculpt side-by-side with DCAD students, alumni, faculty and staff as nude and costumed male...

Cost: $30 per person

Where:
Delaware College of Art and Design
600 N. Market St.
Wilmington, DE  19081
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Sponsor: Delaware College of Art and Design
Telephone: 302-622-8000 x 123
Contact Name: Mark Tajzler
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

From foxes and beavers to cats and dogs, all mammals benefit from open space! Discover the signs of mammals in winter and learn about human impact on mammal habitat and population survival. Join...

Cost: FREE for TLC members / $10 for non-members

Where:
Bucktoe Creek Preserve
432 Sharp Rd
Avondale, PA  19311
View map »


Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
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The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and the Cape Henlopen Educational Foundation are proud to present The Metropolitan Opera’s live broadcast of Charles Gounod’s ROMÉO ET JULIETTE on Saturday,...

Cost: $15 - $25

Where:
Cape Henlopen High School Theater
1250 Kings Highway
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 130-264-59095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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The Rehoboth Beach Film Society announces the next play in the exciting series of National Theatre Live screenings. National Theatre Live is a groundbreaking project that presents the best of...

Cost: $18-$20

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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Coastal Concerts in downtown Lewes will host a presentation by one of the most recognized, honored and versatile musicians in the world, the legendary two-time Grammy Award-winning clarinetist...

Cost: $30. Ages 10-18 and one adult per youth.

Where:
Bethel United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall
Fourth & Market Streets
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Coastal Concerts, Inc.
Telephone: 888-212-6458
Contact Name: Edna Ellett
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Ovations Dinner Theatre hosts an interactive Mafia Murder Mystery dinner. Ticket includes a 3-course Italian dinner and the performance. Tickets are $45 for Non-Members and Non-Member seating is...

Cost: 45

Where:
Ballroom at University and Whist Club
805 N. Broom St.
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Bethany Beach – When local businessman Tim Hill was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (“ALS”) in 2014, he set on a mission to help other people who were diagnosed with...

Cost: $20 General Admission

Where:
Frankford Fire Hall
7 Main Street
Frankford, DE  19945
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The Resident Ensemble Players, Delaware’s professional acting company performing at the University of Delaware, presents The Bells by Theresa Rebeck. During the great Yukon gold rush of the...

Cost: $15 - $30

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: (302) 831-2204
Website »

More information

AM RADIO Have you ever perked up when the radio plays a song that first hit popular stations when you were young? Do you turn the volume up to obnoxious levels and sing along? Music can bring us...

Cost: $10 + FEES

Where:
World Cafe Live Wilmington
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 215-222-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern
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