Paradise Found

...on the islands of fiji in the south pacific.



Water cottages at Likuliku Lagoon Resort. Photograph courtesy of Tourism FijiAs the speedboat rounded a bend in the Sigatoka River, uniformed schoolchildren on the riverbank smiled and waved to the arriving tourists. Villagers bearing leis waited on the hill above, ready to escort their guests to the community hall for a kava ceremony, the time-honored way that outsiders are welcomed to a traditional Fijian village.

The journey inland to the village of Mavua on the island of Viti Levu had been just 10 miles by bus over dirt roads and another few miles by river, but the setting was a world apart from the four- and five-star beachfront accommodations the tourists had left that morning. The village was situated in the heart of the lush Salad Bowl of Fiji, where much of the food is grown for the island. Along the river, men fished with nets or rinsed sweet potatoes just dug from the earth. Women washed clothing, children swam, and the occasional cow or horse wandered down to the riverbank for a drink.

Back at the coastal resort that evening, the same tourists watched in awe as young Fijian men—renowned the world over for their fire-walking ability—walked barefoot across burning coals in a demonstration of the spiritual ceremony their ancestors had been practicing for hundreds of years.

Bula!
Bula (welcome) to Fiji, a honeymoon destination sure to satisfy any couple craving a mix of the exotic and the familiar, all set in a tropical paradise. Once notorious as the “Cannibal Isles,” this group of islands in the South Pacific is home to a people who now pride themselves on their friendliness.

The 333 islands of Fiji (more than 100 of them inhabited) vary widely in size and character. Some are mere spits of sand or coral. Others accommodate a few resorts and perhaps a village or two. The largest island, Viti Levu—about the same size as the Big Island of Hawaii—is comprised of rainforest and beach, cities, farms and small villages. Viti Levu is also home to Nadi Airport, the arrival point for most of Fiji’s international visitors.

Many tourists skip off immediately to another of the islands in search of the fabulous beaches featured in travel brochures, most commonly to islands of the Mamanuca Group. But if that’s all you see, you’re missing the parts of Fiji that introduce you to real Fijian life, so be sure to spend at least some time on one or more of the three largest islands, which in addition to Viti Levu include Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Vanua Levu is where you will find the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, one of the top resorts in the South Pacific and a mecca for divers.

The Coral Coast
Consider spending a few days on the Coral Coast on Viti Levu’s southwest side, which can be reached by car or bus from Nadi. The beaches along the Coral Coast are not as impressive as those on the Mamanuca Islands, with the gorgeous exception of Natadola Beach, the best beach on the island. But the Coral Coast is the easiest starting point of many tours, including the village visit described above, a daytrip that originates in the town of Sigatoka, a short distance inland from the Coral Coast.

The Sigatoka River Safari (sigatokariver.com) combines a very fast speedboat tour of the Sigatoka River with a visit to a traditional village along the river. You can’t just wander into a Fijian village without permission of the village chief, so an arranged tour is the best way to learn about life in a Fijian village, where many of the islanders still live. “When you come to our village, you are coming through our lives, to know who we really are, our culture and how we live,” says village guide “Gus” Autiko Qasevakatim.

Think of a village as a neighborhood where everyone is related. As recently as 30 years ago, many villagers lived in bamboo houses with thatched roofs, but since those materials cannot withstand hurricane winds, these days most houses are constructed of concrete, wood or tin. Some, but not all, have running water and electricity. Cooking is still done outdoors over campfires.

Most visits to Fijian villages include tours of the village and time spent asking questions and perhaps being entertained by some of the villagers. The Sigatoka River Safari has the delicious benefit of including a meal prepared by the village women, who serve it on tablecloths spread on the floor.

Also consider an excursion on the Coral Coast Railway, a restored sugarcane train that now offers scenic tours. By far the best option is the Natadola Beach Resort Tour. The train chugs through sugarcane fields, forest and mangrove swamps, alongside village after village where residents wave and youngsters run behind the train until they tire out and, finally, hugs the coast on the way to the final destination, Natadola Beach. The train makes a stop at Muka Caves, where the guide will regale you with stories of Fiji’s cannibalistic past, which ended in 1867. (Today tourists can buy replica cannibal forks and carved wooden decorative weapons at most every souvenir shop.)
Coral Coast visitors can also take hiking tours to waterfalls, where the native guides might use their diving skills to impress the tourists swimming in the lagoon (adventuresinparadisefiji.com). Sigatoka Sand Dunes and the archaeological site of Tavuni Hill Fort are other excursions, as is souvenir shopping in Sigatoka. The Coral Coast and several of the nearby islands, including Beqa Island, are noted as well for the superb diving opportunities, which include shark diving.

Many of the Coral Coast hotels cater to families (Fiji is a favorite destination for Australians and New Zealanders), so be sure to inquire. A few of the resorts that honeymooners should consider: Intercontinental Fiji (intercontinental.com) on Natadola Beach; The Fiji Hideaway (hideaway.com.fj), a boutique hotel with rooms in individual bures (cottages); and the Pearl South Pacific (thepearlsouthpacific.com) at Pacific Harbor. If you can spring for it, ask for one of the penthouse suites at the Pearl. On Beqa Island, stay at Beqa Lagoon Resort (beqalagoonresort.com), which caters almost exclusively to divers, or at the posh, romantic Lalati Resort and Spa (lalatifiji.com).

The Mamanuca Islands
These sunny isles are the stuff daydreams are made of: pristine white-sand beaches fringed by palm trees, and crystalline waters of blue and green. The 13 small islands in this mini-archipelago off the west coast of Viti Levu are usually reached by high-speed catamaran from Nadi’s Port Denarau. You can take a day cruise from Nadi to one of the Mamanuca Islands, but you won’t want to leave. Instead, spend a few days—or more—here. In addition to the beaches, activities available on various islands include snorkeling and diving, surfing, fishing, parasailing, and all sorts of boating opportunities, from kayaking to sailing.

Accommodations range from backpacker camps to five-star, adults-only boutique resorts. One—the Likuliku Lagoon Resort—even has those oh-so-romantic over-water cottages (likulikulagoon.com). Some places cater to families, others to couples, still others to partiers, so investigate before booking.

Planning Your Trip
How to get there: Air Pacific, Fiji’s international airline, flies to Nadi from Los Angeles and Honolulu. The non-stop, overnight flight leaves Los Angeles in the evening and arrives in Fiji early morning. (airpacific.com, 800-227-4446)

Pacific Sun is Fiji’s domestic airline and one way to get around the islands. A few islands are connected by ferry service.

For more information: The country’s official tourism Web site is fijime.com. Package deals, including airfare and hotel, are available on both the tourism and airline Web sites.

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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:...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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Sports Card & Collectible Show at Aetna Fire Hall on Jan. 22—sign up now! -Sports Cards McFarlane Figures Comic Books Non-Sports cards Wrestling Items Vintage Starting...

Cost: $2

Where:
Aetna Fire Hall
400 Ogletown Road
Newark, DE  19711
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Sponsor: A2Z Promotions
Telephone: 302-983-2636
Contact Name: Bob Harper
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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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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

Where:
Take the Lead Studio
320 Lantana Drive
Hockessin , DE  19711
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Sponsor: Take the Lead
Contact Name: Zahra
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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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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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Come give curling a try! At this 2-hour intro-to-curling event we'll provide a basic lesson then coach you through a mini-game.  Whether you just want to cross #curling off your bucket list or...

Cost: $35

Where:
The Pond Ice Arena
101 John Campbell Rd
Newark, DE  19711
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Sponsor: Diamond State Curling Club
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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

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
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

Notbybreadalone Ministries presents Feeding the Hungry Outreach. All are welcome to come and partake of food, fun and fellowship. Those who desire a better way of life through Jesus Christ are...

Cost: Free

Where:
2nd and 3rd Streets
Wilmington, DE  19801


Sponsor: Notbybreadalone Outreach Ministries
Telephone: 442-0440
Contact Name: Ministers Wayne and Stephanie Dumpson
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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 - Dover
Building A Auditorium
3282 N DuPont Highway
Dover, DE  19901
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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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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
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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

Cost: frr

Where:
East Coast Garden Center
30366 Cordrey Rd
Millsboro, DE  19966
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Sponsor: East Coast Garden Center
Telephone: 302-945-3489
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East Coast Garden Center Indoor Farmer's Marke 25 vendors

Cost: Free

Where:
East Coast Garden Center
30366 Cordrey Rd
Millsboro, DE  19966
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Telephone: 302-945-3489
Website »

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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
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

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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

Where:
University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
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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

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
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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
View map »


Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
Website »

More information

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
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
Website »

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MARC BROUSSARD In 2004, Marc Broussard, then a precocious 22-year-old singer/songwriter, released his major-label debut; he called it Carencro, after the Louisiana town where he was born and...

Cost: $22 SRO- $32 SEATED

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

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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

Show More...
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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

Tutto Fresco has live entertainment every Friday night from 6:30–9:30 p.m. Call for details. http://tuttofrescode.com/

Where:
Tutto Fresco
514 Philadelphia Pike
Wilmington, DE  19809
View map »

More information

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

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
Website »

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Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

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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

January 28 – Saturday – 1 to 4 p.m. Science Saturday – Truss Me, You Won’t Fall! Become an engineer for the day. Design a bridge to hold as much weight as possible....

Cost: Activities are included in regular admission and free for members.

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
Website »

More information

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

GRILLED CHEESE AND CRAFT BEER TASTING We have taken two of the best things on earth and paired them together – Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer – and paired them together in unexpected and...

Cost: $40

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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Saturday, January 28, 2017 at  7:30 pm at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 763 Valley Forge Rd, Wayne, PA 19087 Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 3 pm at Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square...

Cost: Tickets are $25 online, and $30 at the door. Student tickets $10 at the door.

Where:
Church of the Holy Trinity
1904 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA  19103
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Sponsor: Lyric Fest
Telephone: 215-438-1702
Contact Name: Jessica Nelson
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Fan favorite, Dick Smith, returns to the Dickinson Theatre Organ Society concert stage on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 for a show that is sure to bring the house down! Dick Smith has been a...

Cost: $15 Adults; $10 Students

Where:
John Dickinson High School Auditorium
1801 Milltown Road
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Sponsor: Dickinson Theatre Organ Society
Telephone: 302-995-2603
Contact Name: Bob Dilworth
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The Dickinson Theatre Organ Society presents Dick Smith. For tickets, click here: http://www.dtoskimball.org/events-tickets/ticket-information/ For further information, please call us at...

Where:
, DE

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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

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

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MOTHERSHIP Mothership is the area's premier Led Zeppelin Tribute show. Composed of seasoned, professional musicians Mario Padovani - vocals, keyboards, Frank Ginocchio - drums, Chris Julian -...

Cost: 15

Where:
World Cafe Live Wilmington
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 215-222-1400
Website »

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