Keeping Pollution at Bay?

After years of mistreatment, Delaware’s inland bays are on their way back to good health. Keeping them on track will require careful management of development.



Ed Lewandowski, executive director of the Center for the Inland Bays, credits the agricultural community in Sussex with helping to clean up the inland bays. Photograph by Tom Nutter, www.tomnutterphotos.com.

Agriculture and tourism at beach resorts are two of Sussex County’s most obvious assets. But consider this: Sussex County is also home to three bodies of water that stand out among East Coast states as unique and ecologically significant: the inland bays.

Seasonal visitors might not think much about the inland bays as they speed southward. Yet Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay and Little Assawoman Bay are barometers of the state of the watershed and an integral part of the overall ecological health of Sussex County. These large, shallow bodies of water serve as the center of a varied and bountiful ecology, despite mistreatment almost since the first settlers arrived.

A shallow coastal lagoon, Rehoboth Bay stretches from Dewey Beach south to Bottom Hills at Delaware Seashore State Park. Indian River Bay, a drowned river valley system, begins where Rehoboth Bay ends, stretching south a few miles, but reaching west all the way to Millsboro. Indian River Bay is the largest of the three bodies. Little Assawoman Bay, the smallest and shallowest, begins west of South Bethany and stretches south to Fenwick Island.

All the bays connect to the ocean via various natural inlets and man-made canals. Each averages three to eight feet in depth. Within the 32 square miles they cover, a wide variety of marine and avian wildlife flourish.

The areas also serve as some of the most popular fishing and recreational areas outside of the oceanfront beach communities. The bays still give up a significant amount of fish and shellfish that is safe for consumption, though swimming is still considered an at-your-own-risk prospect.

Making the bays both fully swimmable and fishable is a combined effort of the government, non-profit organizations, industry and private citizens, all of whom are doing their part to bring the bays back from years of neglect.

 

Around the bays has long existed a culture like that of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where agricultural and marine trades have lived side-by-side in a pastoral landscape of small farm towns and quaint fishing villages.

But World War II changed all that. Former soldiers, college educated on the G.I. Bill, got good jobs that paid far more than those their parents held. With better jobs came more disposable income and leisure time, which many families decided they would spend by the ocean, either as visitors for a week or owners of second homes.

Oceanfront development boomed, and former church camps like Rehoboth and Bethany beaches exploded with people. Unfortunately, improvements to waste water treatment weren’t among the many technological advancements of the day. That meant that the inland bays, situated just west of booming oceanfront communities and the fragile barrier islands they were built on, became dumps for untreated sewage.

“These bays have been impacted for years and years through the discharge of untreated wastewater,” says Ed Ambrogio, deputy associate director for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of State and Watershed Partnerships at the agency’s Mid-Atlantic office in Philadelphia. “So things have probably improved from in the past.”

While housing development exploded, farmers around the inland bays were drawn to new fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides. Runoff of excess fertilizer, as well as manure, also made its way to the bays.

Animal waste and manufactured fertilizers provide nutrients that, in small quantities, are helpful to farm crops. But poured into coastal and intertidal waters in large quantities, such products overwhelm the ecosystem. Nutrients—such as nitrates and phosphates—continue to do their work where that work isn’t needed, encouraging aquatic life to grow out of control.

Excessive nutrients also spur excessive growth of phytoplankton, or micro algae. Though algae function as a natural part of the cycle of death and decomposition in aquatic environments, so-called blooms of the microscopic organisms deplete oxygen in the water. When the algae dies, bacteria feed on the remains, thus using more oxygen, depriving other aquatic life of what it needs to breath and, unchecked, causing massive fish kills. What’s more, many algae-eating bacteria are toxic to animals and humans. So as they pass through the ecosystem, they can harm other aquatic lifeforms, such as shellfish.

 

By the mid-1990s, researchers at the University of Delaware and the Environmental Protection Agency had found that the bays had suffered significant damage. It became clear to many that without action that damage could become irreversible.

Sewage treatment has improved dramatically since World War II, and federal laws such as the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the Water Quality Act of 1987 have reduced the amount of pollution from sources such as untreated sewage (though both Rehoboth Beach and Sussex County continue to discharge treated wastewater into the bays). But the Clean Water Act didn’t address discharge from agriculture, which, over the years, continued unabated.

According to the Center for the Inland Bays, 70 million chickens are raised annually in the inland bays watershed, and they create 95 million tons of manure. That may be a mind-boggling amount of potential pollution, but Ed Lewandowski, executive director of the center, praises farmers for owning up to the problem and helping to resolve it.

“Our agricultural community has done a super job of stepping up and really accepting the challenge before them,” says Lewandowski. “They could have dug their heels in and said, ‘We’re not the cause,’ but they did the opposite. I think we’re all proud of what the agricultural community has done.”

One example is the Clean Bays agreement, signed in 2006 by Perdue Farms Inc. and the Environmental Protection Agency. By signing, Perdue pledged to better manage the waste from farms that supply its chickens in an effort to protect the inland bays and the Chesapeake. The goal is to have farmers comply with quality levels for agricultural runoff.

“It’s more of a cooperative agreement to get a handle on things before they become a problem,” says Ambrogio. “Perdue has stepped up to the plate and said, ‘We caused problems, and we’d like to work together not to do so, so that’s an ongoing initiative right now.”

The measure is a shining example of success in reducing the source pollution. It’s widely known, after all, what causes problems in the inland bays. What is sometimes a mystery is when those pollutants will arrive. Pollutants in tributaries of the inland bays, for instance, are relatively easy to track because they become evident in surface water almost as soon as they are released. The real danger is what is in the sky and below us in the ground.

Ed Whereat, volunteer coordinator for the UD’s College of Marine and Earth Studies’ Citizen Monitoring Program, says some estimates suggest 80 percent of the pollution in the bays comes from groundwater that has absorbed contaminants in the soil.

“It’s this kind of invisible stuff that’s under our feet that we don’t even realize,” Whereat says. “There are some estimates that a quarter of the nitrogen in the bay is coming in from the atmosphere,” via rain and smog blowing in from the Ohio Valley.

Nitrogen is a major component of the air we breathe. But when nitrogen molecules are broken up by combustion, their atoms can reform into chemicals such as nitrous oxide or ammonia, which can return to earth in rain. So those who monitor the bays must account not only for localized pollution, but also for pollution that originates 400 miles away.

 

The fact that Delaware has the Center for the Inland Bays is a testament to the public’s concern for the health of the bays and a realization of their importance to both ecology and tourism.

The nonprofit center was formed in 1994, six years after the designation of the bays as “estuaries of national significance.” Its mission is to educate people about the inland bays and to preserve them. The center operates out of a rehabbed U.S. Coast Guard barrack on the shore of Balders Pond, just west of Delaware Seashore State Park between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach.

From the deck of the center, you can see the recent history of the inland bays. Near this spot, on which is also located a marina and a Coast Guard station, the waters of Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay mix between Burton Island on the east and Lynch Thicket to the west.

Two decades ago, the view from this spot might have been relatively unspoiled. Today the far shore is distinguished by what is becoming more and more indicative of the inland bays’ plight: an unbroken line of waterfront homes.

It’s just another example of how challenging one of the center’s primary goals—reducing habitat loss—can be in an area where so many people want to live.

 

It’s a snowy February night in Lewes, which seems ready for the spring just as winter is delivering the final punch of an otherwise mild season.

Local businesses have changed their marquees from “Closed for the Season” to phrases like “Reopening St. Patrick’s Day,” all of them anticipating another surge of tourists and seasonal residents to accompany the warmer weather.

Along Second Street, activity is limited to the few customers who huddle around the bar at Jerry’s Seafood. Among them is George Tutlane, manager of the United States Postal Service’s Lewes branch. The conversation turns from Obama vs. Clinton to local gossip, then to the condition of the inland bays.

Tutlane puts Sussex’s population growth into perspective. The Lewes zip code, he says, is now the largest south of Dover. His carriers deliver to nearly 70,000 mailboxes.

Those mailboxes serve a population that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, rose 7.3 percent, from 156,638 to 168,027, between 2000 and 2003. That made Sussex the fastest growing of Delaware’s three counties. It more than doubled the rate of growth in New Castle (3 percent) and outpaced Kent’s 6.1 percent growth during that same period. That influx of people is expected to grow 30 percent over the next 20 years. The number of summer weekend visitors is expected to explode 200 percent over the same period.

Many of those new residents are moving into neighborhoods that are similar to the housing developments they left: standard-issue home, standard-issue lawn, but in tidy new coastal communities where taxes are low and residents enjoy the easy-going feeling marketers call the “coastal lifestyle.”

But that lifestyle, built around images of watermen and farmers at work, is something of a myth these days. The explosion of seasonal and permanent residents around the bays has resulted in continued loss of habitat for native plants and animals and is a new source of harmful nutrients flowing into the bays.

With each development built around the inland bays, a chunk of habitat is destroyed. Plants serve as the backbone of their ecosystems. When essential plants are destroyed, the systems collapse and many animals are forced to move elsewhere.

Marshes and wetlands that buffer areas between dry land and open water are often referred to as the kidneys of an ecosystem. They flush contaminants from tributaries upstream before they can reach a main body of water. Though federal law prevents developers from destroying wetlands, “They can be impacted even though they’re not dug up or filled in,” Ambrogio says.

Those buffer zones are often altered by creation of “impervious surfaces,” which are essentially anything that covers the ground that keeps water from seeping into the earth, such as roads, parking lots, even driveways. Harmful substances on those surfaces—motor oil, gasoline, antifreeze, paint and other chemicals—are washed away by precipitation, then seep into the ground or run into storm drains to pollute the earth and water. Meanwhile, those lush lawns that homeowners love so much require fertilizer—basically concentrated nutrients—some of which runs into the bays and their tributaries.

And it’s not only the coastal development that worries those who monitor the bay’s health. With more than 18,000 septic systems in the inland bays watershed, hundreds of thousands of pounds of nitrogen and phosphorous end up in the soil.

Such sources have proven difficult for local governments and agencies like the EPA to manage because they don’t arrive from a single point. What’s worse, no one knows how long it will take soil pollution from places such as Frankford or Selbyville, on the edges of the watershed, to percolate into the bays. Some estimate decades, so last week’s gasoline spill in Frankford may not infiltrate the bays for 15 or 20 years.

As a result, the Center for the Inland Bays maintains a dialogue with the county about how to manage future development.

“This is an identified growth zone,” says Lewandowski. “People want to live around the bays, and there’s infrastructure here to support that growth. A lot of the emphasis now is on trying to make sure that we grow appropriately in those areas outside this growth zone.”

The center offers education programs for locals, visitors and school children to explain the need to care for the watershed. Signs remind visitors and literature is distributed at motels and vacation homes to keep visitors aware of the fragility of the surrounding ecosystem. To that end, the area has benefited from a greater degree of environmental awareness among those who are moving there.

“We have a lot of older people either buying second homes or retirement homes, and they’re coming from areas where there may have been some higher degree of environmental ethic. They have already brought with them some knowledge, some awareness of how to do things in a manner that will help us improve our local environment,” Lewandowski says. “So we’re not that far from where we need to be.”

Many folks volunteer with the University of Delaware’s citizen monitoring program, which equips volunteers with the basic tools and knowledge to report regularly on the condition of the bays in their areas. One goal is to make sure pollutants in the bays don’t exceed the maximum daily loads of phosphorous and nitrogen set by the Center for the Inland Bays’ Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.

As program manager Joe Farrell notes, there’s more interest and awareness, not just through his program, but in other areas around the inland bays.

“I think you see whole communities dealing with those types of issues, particularly water quality,” he says. He cites a group of educated home owners and community members that has helped grapple with water quality issues in South Bethany. “We do see those community groundswells of support for what we’re doing.”

As to the potential for safer fishing and swimming, Ambrogio is hopeful, especially considering plans for Sussex County to use a portion of treated wastewater for spray irrigation and to reroute the rest out to sea rather than into the bays. “If that were approved, I think the condition of the inland bays would drastically improve,” he says.

Regardless, as long as humans live nearby, stresses on the bays will remain.

“Where there are coastal waters is where people want to live, and it draws a lot of people because of the lifestyle and the environment,” he says. “Sometimes they just love it to death. It’s an ongoing struggle.”

 

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February 2015

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Cost: $18.95 - 25.95

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Cost: Free

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View map »


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More information

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Sponsor: Hagley Museum and Library
Telephone: 302-658-2400
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Website »

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Telephone: 302-351-8558
Contact Name: Jessica Jenkins
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Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
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Cost: $75/ticket

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View map »


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Telephone: 609-665-6001
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Website »

More information

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Where:
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View map »


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Telephone: (302) 559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
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Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
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Cost: FREE

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View map »


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Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
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Sponsor: Nanticoke Health Services
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Cost: Free

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Somerville Manning Gallery
Telephone: (302) 652-0271
Contact Name: Marisa Nolan
Website »

More information

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Cost: $25.95 for adults; $18.95 for children ages 2-12

Where:
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1 Riverside Drive
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View map »


Sponsor: Adventure Aquarium
Telephone: 856-365-3300
Website »

More information

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Cost: $18.95 - 25.95

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
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View map »


Contact Name: Amanda Perez
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum and Library
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
Website »

More information

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Cost: Regular Admission - Free on Sunday

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-351-8558
Contact Name: Jessica Jenkins
Website »

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Cost: $0.00

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View map »


Sponsor: The Gibby Arts Center
Telephone: 302-449-5396
Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
Website »

More information

Ditch the winter whites for a world of dazzling color at Longwood Gardens, where you can stroll through thousands of orchids in bloom.

Where:
Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »

More information

Cost: free

Where:
Online Grant Application
, DE


Sponsor: Delaware DNREC
Telephone: 302-739-9403
Website »

More information

Tobacco Cessation Location: Bayhealth Kent General, Private Dining Room 1–2, 640 S. State St., Dover Time: 5 p.m.–6:30 p.m. More info: Must be at least 18 years old to register...

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General
Private Dining Room 1–2
640 S. State St.
Dover, DE
View map »

More information

Chips for Charity is a Monte Carlo-style cocktail event that boasts table games and dealers, an open bar, catering, a photo booth, a silent auction, 50/50, raffle prizes, a DJ and much more! Unlike...

Cost: $75/ticket

Where:
Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts (DCCA)
200 S. Madison St.
The Riverfront
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Next Gen North
Telephone: 609-665-6001
Contact Name: Danielle Dick
Website »

More information

Cost: $39-76.99

Where:
The Grand Opera House
818 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: (302) 559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

Returning to The Grand after 25 years and as six time Grammy winners, The Chieftains are recognized for bringing traditional Irish music to the world's attention. They have uncovered the wealth of...

Cost: $48-$57

Where:
The Grand Opera House
818 N. Market St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Website »

More information

These ain’t your granddad’s matchboxes—check out 60 rare examples of decadent 19th-century cases.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

B. Proud displays photographs from the ''First Comes Love'' project which captures LGBTQ couples who have been together for 10, 20, 30, 40, and even 50+ years. Proud is the recipient of a 2014...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
820 N. French St.
Carvel State Office Building
Wilmington, DE  19810
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

The Delaware Division of the Arts and the National Arts Program® present the 4th Annual Delaware State Employee Art Exhibition. This program is designed to give Delaware state employees and their...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Arts Center/Gallery
Delaware State University
1200 North Dupont Highway
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8287
Contact Name: Katie West
Website »

More information

Prehistoric marine reptiles that ruled the primeval seas more than 100 million years ago are taking over Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront for a limited-time exhibit starting January 16....

Cost: $25.95 for adults; $18.95 for children ages 2-12

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
View map »


Sponsor: Adventure Aquarium
Telephone: 856-365-3300
Website »

More information

Somerville Manning Gallery presents a solo exhibition of works by Jamie Wyeth concurrent with the artist’s major retrospective on view at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
101 Stone Block Row
Brecks Mill, 2nd Floor
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Somerville Manning Gallery
Telephone: (302) 652-0271
Contact Name: Marisa Nolan
Website »

More information

This summer, Camden’s largest residents, Adventure Aquarium’s hippopotamuses Button and Genny, invite you to join them in their exciting new home, Hippo Haven. As the only aquarium in the...

Cost: $18.95 - 25.95

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
View map »


Contact Name: Amanda Perez
Website »

More information

Visitors may take a two-hour guided tour of Hagley’s 235-acre site. Stops include Eleutherian Mills, the first du Pont family home built in America; the First Office of the DuPont Company; a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum and Library
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
Website »

More information

Oscar Wilde’s Salomé: Illustrating Death and Desire will feature artists’ interpretations of this controversial play throughout the ages. The play was banned from production in London in 1893...

Cost: Regular Admission - Free on Sunday

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-351-8558
Contact Name: Jessica Jenkins
Website »

More information

Three dynamic female photographers present works reflecting years of experience and a view into their innermost thoughts and feelings.  For Elisabeth Bard, “the passage of time, space and...

Cost: $0.00

Where:
The Gibby Arts Center
51 W Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »


Sponsor: The Gibby Arts Center
Telephone: 302-449-5396
Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
Website »

More information

Ditch the winter whites for a world of dazzling color at Longwood Gardens, where you can stroll through thousands of orchids in bloom.

Where:
Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »

More information

Beebe Healthcare offers free glucose screenings every Wednesday from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the following lab locations: Beebe Healthcare Medical Center, 424 Savannah Road, Lewes,...

Cost: free

Where:
, DE

More information

Cost: free

Where:
Online Grant Application
, DE


Sponsor: Delaware DNREC
Telephone: 302-739-9403
Website »

More information

Bariatric Information Seminar Location: Bayhealth Kent General, General Foods Conference Rooms 1 & 2, 640 S. State St., Dover Time: 6–7 p.m. Please bring insurance information to...

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General
640 S. State St.
Dover, DE
View map »

More information

Dispelling Hospice Myths: Learn the truth about Medicare's hospice benefit Join us as Registered Nurse, Lisa Wheeler, discusses common myths associated with hospice and answers questions about end...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Ivy Gables
2210 Swiss Lane
Wilmington, DE  19810
View map »


Sponsor: Ivy Gables
Telephone: 302-475-9400
Contact Name: Laurie Seidle
Website »

More information

Cost: $39-76.99

Where:
The Grand Opera House
818 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: (302) 559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

Pleasant Run Nursery owner Heidi Hesselein and Production Manager Daryl Kobesky believe that every garden should form a diverse ecosystem and have something to offer year round. Hear about this...

Cost: $10/members; $15/non-members

Where:
Delaware Center for Horticulture
1810 N Dupont Street
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: Garden Club of Wilmington & Delaware Grounds Management Association
Telephone: 302-658-6262 x117
Contact Name: Bonnie Swan
Website »

More information

Chips for Charity is a Monte Carlo-style cocktail event that boasts table games and dealers, an open bar, catering, a photo booth, a silent auction, 50/50, raffle prizes, a DJ and much more! Unlike...

Cost: $75/ticket

Where:
Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts (DCCA)
200 S. Madison St.
The Riverfront
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Next Gen North
Telephone: 609-665-6001
Contact Name: Danielle Dick
Website »

More information

These ain’t your granddad’s matchboxes—check out 60 rare examples of decadent 19th-century cases.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

B. Proud displays photographs from the ''First Comes Love'' project which captures LGBTQ couples who have been together for 10, 20, 30, 40, and even 50+ years. Proud is the recipient of a 2014...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
820 N. French St.
Carvel State Office Building
Wilmington, DE  19810
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

The Delaware Division of the Arts and the National Arts Program® present the 4th Annual Delaware State Employee Art Exhibition. This program is designed to give Delaware state employees and their...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Arts Center/Gallery
Delaware State University
1200 North Dupont Highway
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8287
Contact Name: Katie West
Website »

More information

The exhibition features interpretations of the controversial play throughout the ages, which was banned from production in London in 1893 and revived by those rascally Parisians. 

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

​ The area’s largest sale of gently used books has been scheduled by the Wilmington branch of the American Association of University Women. The 46th annual Dollars for Scholars Used Book Sale,...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Concord Mall
4737 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »


Sponsor: AAUW Wilmington
Telephone: 428-0939
Website »

More information

Somerville Manning Gallery presents a solo exhibition of works by Jamie Wyeth concurrent with the artist’s major retrospective on view at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
101 Stone Block Row
Brecks Mill, 2nd Floor
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Somerville Manning Gallery
Telephone: (302) 652-0271
Contact Name: Marisa Nolan
Website »

More information

This summer, Camden’s largest residents, Adventure Aquarium’s hippopotamuses Button and Genny, invite you to join them in their exciting new home, Hippo Haven. As the only aquarium in the...

Cost: $18.95 - 25.95

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
View map »


Contact Name: Amanda Perez
Website »

More information

Prehistoric marine reptiles that ruled the primeval seas more than 100 million years ago are taking over Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront for a limited-time exhibit starting January 16....

Cost: $25.95 for adults; $18.95 for children ages 2-12

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
View map »


Sponsor: Adventure Aquarium
Telephone: 856-365-3300
Website »

More information

Visitors may take a two-hour guided tour of Hagley’s 235-acre site. Stops include Eleutherian Mills, the first du Pont family home built in America; the First Office of the DuPont Company; a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum and Library
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
Website »

More information

Oscar Wilde’s Salomé: Illustrating Death and Desire will feature artists’ interpretations of this controversial play throughout the ages. The play was banned from production in London in 1893...

Cost: Regular Admission - Free on Sunday

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-351-8558
Contact Name: Jessica Jenkins
Website »

More information

Three dynamic female photographers present works reflecting years of experience and a view into their innermost thoughts and feelings.  For Elisabeth Bard, “the passage of time, space and...

Cost: $0.00

Where:
The Gibby Arts Center
51 W Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »


Sponsor: The Gibby Arts Center
Telephone: 302-449-5396
Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
Website »

More information

Osteoporosis Screening Location: Bayhealth Outpatient Center, 1020 Mattlind Way, Milford Time: 1–3 p.m. More info: Trisha Bentley 744-6227 or 744-7135 or www.bayhealth.org

Where:
Bayhealth Outpatient Center
1020 Mattlind Way
Milford, DE
View map »

More information

Ditch the winter whites for a world of dazzling color at Longwood Gardens, where you can stroll through thousands of orchids in bloom.

Where:
Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »

More information

Cost: free

Where:
Online Grant Application
, DE


Sponsor: Delaware DNREC
Telephone: 302-739-9403
Website »

More information

Trail Creek Outfitters Wild & Scenic Film Festival Thursday, February 26 and Friday, February 27 Chester County Historical Society: 225 North High Street; West Chester PA 19380 Doors open at...

Cost: $25 for One Night; $45 for Two Nights

Where:
Chester County Historical Society
225 North High Street
West Chester, PA  19380
View map »

More information

Cost: $39-76.99

Where:
The Grand Opera House
818 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: (302) 559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

For February’s Monthly Screening, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society proudly presents a showcase of this year's Academy® Award nominees for Best Live Action Short Film. The screenings will be held...

Cost: $4 members and $6 for future members

Where:
The Den at Bear Trap Dunes
7 Clubhouse Dr
Coastal Highway
Ocean View and Rehoboth Beach, DE
View map »


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

More information

Chips for Charity is a Monte Carlo-style cocktail event that boasts table games and dealers, an open bar, catering, a photo booth, a silent auction, 50/50, raffle prizes, a DJ and much more! Unlike...

Cost: $75/ticket

Where:
Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts (DCCA)
200 S. Madison St.
The Riverfront
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Next Gen North
Telephone: 609-665-6001
Contact Name: Danielle Dick
Website »

More information

These ain’t your granddad’s matchboxes—check out 60 rare examples of decadent 19th-century cases.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

NANTICOKE TO HOLD ANNUAL CHOLESTEROL & GLUCOSE SCREENINGS Nanticoke Health Services will be offering cholesterol and glucose screenings at four locations during the month of February. ...

Cost: Free

Where:
EZ Labs - Georgetown, Laurel, Bridgeville
, DE


Sponsor: Nanticoke Health Services
Telephone: 302-536-5386
Contact Name: Rachel Ostroski
Website »

More information

B. Proud displays photographs from the ''First Comes Love'' project which captures LGBTQ couples who have been together for 10, 20, 30, 40, and even 50+ years. Proud is the recipient of a 2014...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
820 N. French St.
Carvel State Office Building
Wilmington, DE  19810
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

The Delaware Division of the Arts and the National Arts Program® present the 4th Annual Delaware State Employee Art Exhibition. This program is designed to give Delaware state employees and their...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Arts Center/Gallery
Delaware State University
1200 North Dupont Highway
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8287
Contact Name: Katie West
Website »

More information

The exhibition features interpretations of the controversial play throughout the ages, which was banned from production in London in 1893 and revived by those rascally Parisians. 

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

This summer, Camden’s largest residents, Adventure Aquarium’s hippopotamuses Button and Genny, invite you to join them in their exciting new home, Hippo Haven. As the only aquarium in the...

Cost: $18.95 - 25.95

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
View map »


Contact Name: Amanda Perez
Website »

More information

Prehistoric marine reptiles that ruled the primeval seas more than 100 million years ago are taking over Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront for a limited-time exhibit starting January 16....

Cost: $25.95 for adults; $18.95 for children ages 2-12

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
View map »


Sponsor: Adventure Aquarium
Telephone: 856-365-3300
Website »

More information

Indoor Flea Market Join us at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village (across from Home Depot) for an Indoor Flea Market on Friday February 27th and Saturday the 28th from 10a-2p. Looking for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village
866 N. Dupont Hwy.
Dover, DE  19901
View map »

More information

​ The area’s largest sale of gently used books has been scheduled by the Wilmington branch of the American Association of University Women. The 46th annual Dollars for Scholars Used Book Sale,...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Concord Mall
4737 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »


Sponsor: AAUW Wilmington
Telephone: 428-0939
Website »

More information

Somerville Manning Gallery presents a solo exhibition of works by Jamie Wyeth concurrent with the artist’s major retrospective on view at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
101 Stone Block Row
Brecks Mill, 2nd Floor
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Somerville Manning Gallery
Telephone: (302) 652-0271
Contact Name: Marisa Nolan
Website »

More information

Join us at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village (across from Home Depot) for an Indoor Flea Market on Friday February 27th and Saturday the 28th from 10a-2p. Looking for vendors and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village
866 N. Dupont Hwy.
Dover, DE  19901
View map »

More information

Visitors may take a two-hour guided tour of Hagley’s 235-acre site. Stops include Eleutherian Mills, the first du Pont family home built in America; the First Office of the DuPont Company; a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum and Library
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
Website »

More information

Oscar Wilde’s Salomé: Illustrating Death and Desire will feature artists’ interpretations of this controversial play throughout the ages. The play was banned from production in London in 1893...

Cost: Regular Admission - Free on Sunday

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-351-8558
Contact Name: Jessica Jenkins
Website »

More information

Three dynamic female photographers present works reflecting years of experience and a view into their innermost thoughts and feelings.  For Elisabeth Bard, “the passage of time, space and...

Cost: $0.00

Where:
The Gibby Arts Center
51 W Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »


Sponsor: The Gibby Arts Center
Telephone: 302-449-5396
Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
Website »

More information

Ditch the winter whites for a world of dazzling color at Longwood Gardens, where you can stroll through thousands of orchids in bloom.

Where:
Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »

More information

Cost: free

Where:
Online Grant Application
, DE


Sponsor: Delaware DNREC
Telephone: 302-739-9403
Website »

More information

Cost: $5-$20

Where:
Ed Oliver Golf Club
800 N. Dupont Rd
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Brides Against Breast Cancer
Telephone: 877-721-4673
Contact Name: Katie Posivak
Website »

More information

We invite all area brides and guests to browse through hundreds of new and lovingly worn designer and couture wedding gowns, all at an incredible savings. Gowns range from $99 to $1,800, are...

Cost: varies - please visit website for more information

Where:
Ed Oliver Golf Club
800 N Dupont Rd
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Brides Against Breast Cancer
Telephone: 877-721-4673
Contact Name: Katie Posivak
Website »

More information

Trail Creek Outfitters Wild & Scenic Film Festival Thursday, February 26 and Friday, February 27 Chester County Historical Society: 225 North High Street; West Chester PA 19380 Doors open at...

Cost: $25 for One Night; $45 for Two Nights

Where:
Chester County Historical Society
225 North High Street
West Chester, PA  19380
View map »

More information

The Lighthouse Church will be starting a Training Center for Deliverances beginning Friday September 12, 2014.  The school will be focused on all aspects of ministering deliverance and healing...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Lighthouse Church Inc.
6 South Railroad Avenue
Wyoming, DE  19934
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Church Inc.
Telephone: (302) 632-4679
Contact Name: Bro. Christopher Gore
Website »

More information

The Lighthouse Church will be starting a Training Center for Deliverances beginning Friday September 12, 2014.  The school will be focused on all aspects of ministering deliverance and healing...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Lighthouse Church Inc.
6 South Railroad Avenue
Wyoming, DE  19934
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Church Inc.
Telephone: (302) 632-4679
Contact Name: Bro. Christopher Gore
Website »

More information

Chips for Charity is a Monte Carlo-style cocktail event that boasts table games and dealers, an open bar, catering, a photo booth, a silent auction, 50/50, raffle prizes, a DJ and much more! Unlike...

Cost: $75/ticket

Where:
Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts (DCCA)
200 S. Madison St.
The Riverfront
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Next Gen North
Telephone: 609-665-6001
Contact Name: Danielle Dick
Website »

More information

Cost: $39-76.99

Where:
The Grand Opera House
818 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: (302) 559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

For February’s Monthly Screening, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society proudly presents a showcase of this year's Academy® Award nominees for Best Live Action Short Film. The screenings will be held...

Cost: $4 members and $6 for future members

Where:
The Den at Bear Trap Dunes
7 Clubhouse Dr
Coastal Highway
Ocean View and Rehoboth Beach, DE
View map »


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


Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
Website »

More information

Set in a seedy Oklahoma City motel room, the play centers on the meeting between Agnes, a divorced waitress with a fondness for cocaine and isolation, and Peter, a soft-spoken Gulf War drifter who...

Cost: $18 online / $20 at-the-door

Where:
Bootless Stageworks @ St. Stephen's Church
1301 N Broom Street
Wilmington , DE  19806
View map »

More information

These ain’t your granddad’s matchboxes—check out 60 rare examples of decadent 19th-century cases.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

It’s 1957 and Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift are in town to film “Raintree County,” a true Southern Epic to rival “Gone with the Wind.” There happens to be a...

Where:
Chapel Street Players
27 N. Chapel St.
Newark, DE
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

"Pup-Purr-I", the 6th annual PAWS for People Conference offers "a little bit of everything" to pet lovers, owners and enthusiasts.  Fifteen interactive workshops address timely topics including...

Cost: $35/person through 2/14; $40/person after

Where:
St. Mark's UMC
1700 Limestone Rd
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »


Sponsor: PAWS for People
Telephone: 302-351-5622
Contact Name: Clarice Ritchie
Website »

More information

The Delaware Division of the Arts and the National Arts Program® present the 4th Annual Delaware State Employee Art Exhibition. This program is designed to give Delaware state employees and their...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Arts Center/Gallery
Delaware State University
1200 North Dupont Highway
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8287
Contact Name: Katie West
Website »

More information

Return to Bucktoe for part II of the nature walk series focused on camouflage and other methods of winter survival. What types of wildlife can you spot? $5 TLC members; $10 non-members. Register...

Cost: $5 members; $10 non-members

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


Sponsor: The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County
Telephone: 610-347-0347
Contact Name: Danielle Burley
Website »

More information

Prehistoric marine reptiles that ruled the primeval seas more than 100 million years ago are taking over Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront for a limited-time exhibit starting January 16....

Cost: $25.95 for adults; $18.95 for children ages 2-12

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
View map »


Sponsor: Adventure Aquarium
Telephone: 856-365-3300
Website »

More information

The exhibition features interpretations of the controversial play throughout the ages, which was banned from production in London in 1893 and revived by those rascally Parisians. 

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

Indoor Flea Market Join us at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village (across from Home Depot) for an Indoor Flea Market on Friday February 27th and Saturday the 28th from 10a-2p. Looking for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village
866 N. Dupont Hwy.
Dover, DE  19901
View map »

More information

Somerville Manning Gallery presents a solo exhibition of works by Jamie Wyeth concurrent with the artist’s major retrospective on view at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
101 Stone Block Row
Brecks Mill, 2nd Floor
Greenville, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Somerville Manning Gallery
Telephone: (302) 652-0271
Contact Name: Marisa Nolan
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​ The area’s largest sale of gently used books has been scheduled by the Wilmington branch of the American Association of University Women. The 46th annual Dollars for Scholars Used Book Sale,...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Concord Mall
4737 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE  19803
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Sponsor: AAUW Wilmington
Telephone: 428-0939
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The Wilmington & Western Railroad's Hockessin Art Festival is a fundraising effort to benefit the railroad, now entering our 49th year of tourist service. Over 25 artists will be displaying and...

Cost: Art Show Admission: $3.00 Train Fare: $5.00 (Children under 2 are FREE)

Where:
Hockessin Memorial Hall
606 Yorklyn Road
Hockessin, DE  19707
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Sponsor: Wilmington & Western Railroad
Telephone: 302-998-1930
Contact Name: Carole
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Join us at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village (across from Home Depot) for an Indoor Flea Market on Friday February 27th and Saturday the 28th from 10a-2p. Looking for vendors and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village
866 N. Dupont Hwy.
Dover, DE  19901
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This summer, Camden’s largest residents, Adventure Aquarium’s hippopotamuses Button and Genny, invite you to join them in their exciting new home, Hippo Haven. As the only aquarium in the...

Cost: $18.95 - 25.95

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
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Contact Name: Amanda Perez
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Visitors may take a two-hour guided tour of Hagley’s 235-acre site. Stops include Eleutherian Mills, the first du Pont family home built in America; the First Office of the DuPont Company; a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum and Library
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
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Join us for an afternoon of wine tasting and learn about Delaware Tourism destinations.

Cost: 10 per person

Where:
Fenwick Wine Cellars
38016 Fenwick Shoals Blvd
Selbyville, DE  19975
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Sponsor: Fenwick Wine Cellars
Telephone: 302-436-1500
Contact Name: Katie Duke
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Oscar Wilde’s Salomé: Illustrating Death and Desire will feature artists’ interpretations of this controversial play throughout the ages. The play was banned from production in London in 1893...

Cost: Regular Admission - Free on Sunday

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-351-8558
Contact Name: Jessica Jenkins
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Three dynamic female photographers present works reflecting years of experience and a view into their innermost thoughts and feelings.  For Elisabeth Bard, “the passage of time, space and...

Cost: $0.00

Where:
The Gibby Arts Center
51 W Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
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Sponsor: The Gibby Arts Center
Telephone: 302-449-5396
Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
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Ditch the winter whites for a world of dazzling color at Longwood Gardens, where you can stroll through thousands of orchids in bloom.

Where:
Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA  19348
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Cost: free

Where:
Online Grant Application
, DE


Sponsor: Delaware DNREC
Telephone: 302-739-9403
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Cost: $5-$20

Where:
Ed Oliver Golf Club
800 N. Dupont Rd
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Brides Against Breast Cancer
Telephone: 877-721-4673
Contact Name: Katie Posivak
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Southern Lights of Life Masquerade Ball: A Mysterious and Magical Evening of Living and Giving Benefiting Kent and Sussex Counties Join the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition for the Southern...

Cost: $150

Where:
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
1131 North DuPont Highway
Dover, DE  19901
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Telephone: 302-672-6435
Contact Name: Michelle Marshall
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We invite all area brides and guests to browse through hundreds of new and lovingly worn designer and couture wedding gowns, all at an incredible savings. Gowns range from $99 to $1,800, are...

Cost: varies - please visit website for more information

Where:
Ed Oliver Golf Club
800 N Dupont Rd
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Brides Against Breast Cancer
Telephone: 877-721-4673
Contact Name: Katie Posivak
Website »

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Chips for Charity is a Monte Carlo-style cocktail event that boasts table games and dealers, an open bar, catering, a photo booth, a silent auction, 50/50, raffle prizes, a DJ and much more! Unlike...

Cost: $75/ticket

Where:
Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts (DCCA)
200 S. Madison St.
The Riverfront
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: Next Gen North
Telephone: 609-665-6001
Contact Name: Danielle Dick
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Cost: $39-76.99

Where:
The Grand Opera House
818 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: (302) 559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
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This popular Delaware duo has been winning fans for years...and now we have them on our stage!  Their performance will feature works including Concertante by Mauro Giuliani, Dances in the...

Cost: Free-will offering

Where:
Trinity Episcopal Church
1108 N. Adams Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: The Arts at Trinity
Telephone: (302) 652-8605
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How to Keep a Man is the stage play about 3 women who in their struggle to keep their man learn how they deserve to be kept.   Desiree is a strong minded, intelligent, and assertive...

Cost: $20.00

Where:
John Dickinson High School
1801 Milltown Road
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Sponsor: The Wright Decision Entertainment Company
Telephone: 302-293-3559
Contact Name: Aaron L. Wright
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Set in a seedy Oklahoma City motel room, the play centers on the meeting between Agnes, a divorced waitress with a fondness for cocaine and isolation, and Peter, a soft-spoken Gulf War drifter who...

Cost: $18 online / $20 at-the-door

Where:
Bootless Stageworks @ St. Stephen's Church
1301 N Broom Street
Wilmington , DE  19806
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The American Heart Association’s annual gala at the Chase Center on the Riverfront includes cocktails, appetizers, dinner, wine, silent and live auctions, and dancing to The Heartbeats. 

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
815 Justison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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It’s 1957 and Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift are in town to film “Raintree County,” a true Southern Epic to rival “Gone with the Wind.” There happens to be a...

Where:
Chapel Street Players
27 N. Chapel St.
Newark, DE
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AIDS Delaware is putting on a twisted night of spectacle and entertainment, carnival style, at the Sheraton Wilmington South in New Castle

Where:
Sheraton Wilmington South
365 Airport Road
New Castle, DE  19720
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We can’t promise you an Oia sunset or a Italian seascape, but we are sure this delectable event, with yummies from Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Lebanon and Libya, will transport your taste...

Where:
Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP
Historic Wilmington Courthouse
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Can you say, “Lights, Camera, Bloom?” You will this year, when the Philadelphia Flower Show pays tribute to the silver screen. All the marvels of the movies await, so sit down, be quiet...

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
12th & Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA  19107
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These ain’t your granddad’s matchboxes—check out 60 rare examples of decadent 19th-century cases.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, DE
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Telephone: 571-9590
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