Central Delaware’s most popular events cover a wide range, from Dover Days to Milford’s Riverwalk Freedom Festival to NASCAR weekends. Now go have fun.
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Spring brings on three seasons of outdoor fun and festivals, many of which emphasize the enduring small-town quality of life in Kent County. Here’s a smattering of celebrations that will get your motor running, prepare your ears for great live music, and make your mouth water for chicken, barbecue, funnel cakes—maybe even an exotic peach dessert.
Bug and Bud Festival | April 24, Milford
The one-day festival celebrates Arbor Day and the state insect, the ladybug. The festival continues to draw enthusiastic crowds from the nearby area, Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and far-flung states such as Massachusetts and California—thanks to being listed by Travelocity as an Editor’s Choice. Festivities include a costume parade, live concerts and river activities, such as paddleboating and steamboat rides, says Beth Durham of Downtown Milford Inc.
The increasingly popular event now boasts more than 100 arts and crafts vendors that complement the distribution of 2,000 seedling trees in honor of Arbor Day. This year’s festival will be the seventh annual event. Proceeds benefit the town’s Main Street program.
Dover Days | April 30-May 2, Dover
In its 77th year of celebrating Dover’s heritage as the capital of the First State, Dover Days is the longest-running festival in the city. Drawing up to 15,000 visitors a year, Dover Days is a celebration of history, heritage and home. This year’s celebration commences with a car show and concert on April 30. New this year is a countywide tour of 40 historic homes in Kent.
“Dover Days began as a house and garden tour,” says Robin Coventry of Kent County Tourism. “This year will be the first for the expanded house tour.”
Another first will be a laser light show. Traditional events include a parade and a Maypole dance performed by local school children, as well as an artisan exhibit that includes Colonial-era crafts such as spinning, weaving and blacksmithing.
“There’ll be a pet parade complete with costumes and replica encampments of historical periods including the Renaissance, Native American, Civil War and World War II eras,” Coventry says.
First State Heritage Park also plans shows for this year’s festival.
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