The State: Ruling on the River

Delaware can't control New Jersey's shoreline, but it does control a good stretch of the river between them--that is, unless the U.S. Supreme Court thinks otherwise.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“At the time he presided over Pennsylvania,” says Kenneth L. Kristl of Widener University School of Law, “(William) Penn sent his representatives with a message for New Jersey: ‘They can have liberty of the river. They do not have property of the river.’”

Photograph by Tom Nutter

 

 

In 1681 King Charles II granted the province of Pennsylvania to William Penn. Yet Penn was worried. Pennsylvania was landlocked. What if colonies on the other side of the Delaware River or bay became hostile? So he petitioned the king, who, in 1682, granted him land on the west side of the Delaware River—now the state of Delaware.

The lines drawn in that land grant have set the stage for arguments, bickering, and legal battles about the border and ownership of the Delaware River between Delaware and New Jersey for more than 300 years. Specifically, the land grant established Delaware’s northern border by a 12-mile circle centered on the steeple of the courthouse in Old New Castle. The now infamous Twelve-Mile Circle extends east right up to the shore of New Jersey, giving Delaware full ownership of the river within this section.

Now the State of New Jersey is challenging the State of Delaware in the U.S. Supreme Court over yet another aspect of the issue.

“In the end, the Supreme Court can save us the inconvenience of declaring war on our neighbor to win independence for our coastline,” says New Jersey Assemblyman John Burzichelli. “Delaware must be made to understand that economic development decisions on our side of the river should be made by New Jerseyans living in the here and now, not by the ghosts of King Charles II and William Penn.”

More than 300 years later, Penn’s effort to avert hostility from New Jersey may have helped create it. How would William Penn react to all this?

“I suspect he would be rooting for Delaware. He would want Delaware to be aggressively defending ownership of the river,” says Kenneth L. Kristl, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Widener University School of Law, an expert on the history and legal aspects of this issue. “At the time he presided over Pennsylvania, Penn sent his representatives with a message for New Jersey: ‘They can have liberty of the river. They do not have property of the river.’”

Though the border war has raged for over 300 years, the issue has lain dormant since a previous Supreme Court ruling in 1934 established Delaware’s ownership of the river up to the low tide mark of the coast of New Jersey within the 12-mile circle. The river below the circle is divided evenly between the two sovereigns.

The issue resurfaced when a subsidiary of energy company BP, Crown Landing, announced in December 2003 that it would submit an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas terminal in Logan Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey. Logan Township was a good choice for a number of reasons, according to Tom Mueller, BP’s director of external affairs. The location offered a deep-water access on the Delaware River. It was removed from major population areas. The site would cause zero permanent wetland damage. And two main natural gas lines that already serve the region cross in the immediate vicinity of the proposed project.

BP began working through the appropriate approval process in New Jersey. Overall, New Jersey officials embraced the plan. The economic impact to the state would be significant. BP estimates that, once operational, the plant would generate up to $6 million annually in direct state and local taxes. Annual economic activity for the tri-state area was projected to be around $54 million.

There was, however, one unusual component of the proposal: The terminal required a pier for liquefied natural gas tankers to unload, and that pier would need to extend well into the part of the river owned by the state of Delaware. Consequently, the dock would need to be permitted under Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act.

BP first approached Delaware for a status determination in December 2004. “Coming in, I knew that the Coastal Zone Act was in danger,” says John Hughes, secretary of the Delaware Department of Resources and Environmental Control. “They could have offered every man, woman and child in Delaware a free car, but they still would have to get past the Coastal Zone Act.”

Once the status determination was denied, BP went before the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board. In March 2005 the board denied BP’s application based on the Coastal Zone Act’s prohibition of new bulk transfer facilities and new heavy industry. BP was not pleased with the decision. “The ruling was contrary to precedent and to common interpretation of the act,” says BP’s Mueller.

Things began to get hostile, with jabs and rhetoric flying across the Delaware River in both directions. Burzichelli, who represents the Logan Township area, called on New Jersey residents to boycott Delaware-based credit cards and suggested the possibility of dusting off the battleship USS New Jersey to send across the river. Delaware officials such as former Representative Wayne Smith countered by introducing legislation authorizing the governor to “utilize any and all resources at his or her disposal to protect the territorial integrity of the State of Delaware and to block and-or remove any encroachments upon our boundary.” Much of the rhetoric on both sides was tongue in cheek, but Smith points out that his legislation “reaffirms the General Assembly’s commitment to the border.”

Then things turned serious. In July 2005, New Jersey’s acting governor, Richard J. Codey, directed the state’s attorney general to sue Delaware in the U.S. Supreme Court. “My counterpart in Delaware has rejected our efforts to settle this amicably,” Codey said at the time. “The plain fact is that the State of Delaware does not have jurisdiction over any projects on New Jersey’s shoreline. Delaware has never controlled development on our shore, and will not start doing so now.”

New Jersey, in essence, wants the Supreme Court to change a state line.

Clearly, preparing a defense in the Supreme Court is no small undertaking. The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office is leading on the state’s behalf. In addition to the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, Delaware has retained Washington attorney David C. Frederick, an appellate lawyer with a specialty in Supreme Court Cases, and Collins J. Seitz Jr. of Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz as special counsel.

Seitz, for one, cannot escape reminders of the Delaware River. Not only does it consume him at the office, he lives on its shore in Old New Castle—“within the blast zone of an LNG tanker”—and passes the New Castle Courthouse on his way to work each morning. In the U.S. Supreme Court, the stakes are high.

The Supreme Court accepted the case in March 2006, then appointed a special master, Ralph I. Lancaster Jr. of the law firm Pierce Atwood in Portland, Maine. Lancaster is expected to issue his opinion sometime this summer, according to Seitz. It is then anticipated that the Supreme Court will review the case during its 2007-08 term.

New Jersey is not asking the Supreme Court to reexamine its 1934 decision. Put simply, that decision, which originated over a dispute over the ownership of an oyster bed, established Delaware’s ownership of the river within the 12-mile circle up to the low tide mark of the New Jersey shore. “The Supreme Court spoke in the 1930s and said, ‘The boundary is the boundary. Don’t ever come to us again,’” Burzichelli says.

Instead, New Jersey has asked for an interpretation of a compact signed by both Delaware and New Jersey in 1905 to help settle long-running disputes over fishing rights on the river.

At one time fishing was a great source of commerce on the Delaware River. In 1871 Delaware sought to establish its authority by requiring all non-Delawareans to obtain $20 fishing licenses, according to Carol E. Hoffecker, one of the expert historical witnesses for Delaware in the current Supreme Court case. The Fishing Wars of 1871 came to a head when a Wilmington constable and an armed posse arrested 22 New Jersey fishermen at gunpoint for fishing in the Delaware River without a license. The act touched off years of legal debate and posturing. In order to avoid Supreme Court action at that time, Delaware and New Jersey negotiated and signed the 1905 compact.

One of the main issues all attorneys cite in this Supreme Court case is riparian rights, or the rights of those who own land on the banks of rivers and other bodies of water. New Jersey contends in its petition to the court that the 1905 Compact “grants New Jersey riparian jurisdiction to regulate construction of improvements appurtenant to the New Jersey shore of the Delaware River with the Twelve-Mile Circle free of regulation by Delaware.”

Seitz, of course, believes Delaware is going in with a strong case. “The 1905 compact did not grant them unlimited rights to build piers in the Delaware River,” he says. “Even if they are allowed, they are still subject to regulation by Delaware under the Coastal Zone Act.”

Though Delaware approached the liquefied natural gas terminal strictly from an environmental and Coastal Zone Act standpoint, an undercurrent of fear about safety exists.

“Many of my constituents stand in the way of a catastrophic explosion,” Smith says. Because of the proximity of the proposed terminal and tankers on the Delaware River, “People are concerned about an industrial accident or a terrorist act.”

“The catastrophic scenario is pretty severe, and it’s not just paranoia,” Kristl says. In an article recently published by the American Bar Association, he cites examples of accidents involving liquefied natural gas terminals in Ohio and Algeria that killed 100 or more people. “LNG is inherently volatile and, if given the chance to vaporize back to gaseous form, can be explosive,” Kristl wrote.

As both states await the court’s determination, plans are still underway. Delaware’s Homeland Security adviser, Ed Smith, attends Area Maritime Security Committee meetings hosted by the captain of the Port of Philadelphia. Established after 9-11, the committee “meets to address all the security issues for the upper river and bay.” It is comprised of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey representatives, private industry, regional response agencies and anyone with a stake in the area’s security. Smith also participates in an LNG Transit Security Committee that meets as needed in anticipation of the Crown Landing project. Tension over the issue has not spilled over into the committee. “If this goes forward, there’s no room for anything but cooperation,” says Smith.

Smith points out the absolute necessity of a regional and cooperative strategy in today’s world. “From a security standpoint, what’s important to us is important to New Jersey,” he says. “We have to be partners. We have a lot of common interests.”

Regardless of who owns the Delaware River and where the boundary falls, Delaware and New Jersey have a track record of working together on projects of mutual interest.

The Delaware River and Bay Authority is a good example. Created in 1962, the DRBA oversees the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. With other projects in both Delaware and New Jersey, “There is a lot done that requires the cooperation of both states. You have to get votes from both sides of the river,” DRBA spokesman Jim Salmon says.

So for now, cooperative projects between Delaware and New Jersey continue, BP moves forward through the regulatory process, the LNG Transit Security Committee meets just in case the Supreme Court rules in New Jersey’s favor and the attorneys on both sides of the river work feverishly to prepare their cases.

Will a Supreme Court ruling put to rest the question of who owns the Delaware River and end this battle between Delaware and New Jersey? Let’s hope so.

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More information

Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Dave Wakeling is a hell of a nice guy! Dave loves to tell you the stories behind his songs, either from stage or after the show. Ask any one of the thousands of fans who have met him over the years...

Cost: $22-32

Where:
World Cafe Live at the Queen
500 N Market St
Wimington, DE
View map »


Sponsor: World Cafe Live at The Queen
Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern

More information

Dave Wakeling is a hell of a nice guy! Dave loves to tell you the stories behind his songs, either from stage or after the show. Ask any one of the thousands of fans who have met him over the years...

Cost: $22-32

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Sponsor: World Cafe Life
Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern
Website »

More information

Month 4: Cochlear Implants Location: John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, Christiana Hospital Campus, 4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, Classrooms 4, 5 & 6 To register, call (800)...

Where:
, DE

More information

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Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


Website »

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

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


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

The islands take over Cinco de Mayo with $5 Margaritas! From May 2 through May 5, celebrate with four tequila-filled-days of fun and over ten flavors of margaritas, including our handcrafted...

Cost: Cost of meal

Where:
Bahama Breeze
500 Center Blvd
Newark, DE  19702
View map »

More information

Geared toward individuals 60 and over. Participants must be able to walk and stand. Walking aids—canes and walkers—are allowed. Wear comfortable clothing and stable shoes. Sneakers...

Where:
Bayhealth Physician Specialty Practice
315 N. Carter Road, Conference Room
Smyrna, DE
View map »

More information

Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Dr. Jeremy McInerney, Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, speaks about the Amazons in Greek legend and art. Who were these warrior women and why did they remain a source of...

Cost: $5

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Participate in a 2-hour training to learn how you can help improve Delaware’s waterways. Stories from across the nation highlight the importance of residents getting actively involved in...

Cost: Free

Where:
DuPont Environmental Education Center
1400 Delmarva Lane
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Clean Water: Delaware's Clear Choice Campaign
Telephone: 302-239-2334 ext. 13
Contact Name: Michael Bard
Website »

More information

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and Lewes Public Library present THEEB as May’s film for the Around the World series. THEEB, a coming-of-age adventure will screen at 7 p.m. on Wednesday,...

Cost: Free

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

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Paula Cole has played before audiences all over the world, opening for artists like Peter Gabriel, Melissa Etheridge and Sarah McLachlan, and as part of the Lilith Fair lineup before she began...

Cost: $30

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market St
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Sponsor: World Cafe Live at The Queen
Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern

More information

Free lecture on the advances of minimally invasive surgery and other solutions to prostate cancer. Men and women welcome. Location: John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, Christiana Hospital...

Where:
, DE

More information

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Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

More information

Spring Session: Thursdays from 9:30-12; first day is April 7 Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311) Join TLC for our Drop-In on...

Cost: TLC members Free, Non-members free for first session, $5 for pre-registration

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


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

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


Website »

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

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


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

The Show House will include a Boutique and Garden Shoppe with articles for sale from interior and landscape designers. 14 interior and landscape designers will transform a spacious home situated...

Where:
52 Rolling Rd.
Henlopen Acres, Rehoboth Beach, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

Rockford Tower opens for the season during the annual Flower Market, a spring tradition in Rockford Park.  Climb this historic structure and see the Flower Market and the city of Wilmington.  Free.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
2000 Lookout Drive
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-577-7020
Website »

More information

96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market The 96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market adds an extra evening of festival fun with WFM Rocks the Park on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m....

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
Wilmington, DE


Sponsor: Wilmington Flower Market
Website »

More information

The islands take over Cinco de Mayo with $5 Margaritas! From May 2 through May 5, celebrate with four tequila-filled-days of fun and over ten flavors of margaritas, including our handcrafted...

Cost: Cost of meal

Where:
Bahama Breeze
500 Center Blvd
Newark, DE  19702
View map »

More information

Geared toward individuals 60 and over. Participants must be able to walk and stand. Walking aids—canes and walkers—are allowed. Wear comfortable clothing and stable shoes. Sneakers...

Where:
Bayhealth Physician Specialty Practice
315 N. Carter Road, Conference Room
Smyrna, DE
View map »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Nanticoke Physician Network General & Bariatric Surgery will be hosting bariatric support groups on the first Tuesday and third Thursday of each month from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at Nanticoke Memorial...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Sponsor: Nanticoke Physician Network General & Bariatric Surgery
Telephone: 302-629-6611 x 8810
Contact Name: Shelly Geis

More information

Patrick McGovern, Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages and Health, and his oft-times collaborator Sam Calagione, Founder and President of...

Cost: $20

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Games, food & fun for the whole family 68– p.m. at Smyrna Wesleyan Church Parking Lot

Cost: Free

Where:
Smyrna Wesleyan Church
433 West Commerce Street
Smyrna, DE  19977
View map »


Sponsor: SWC Family Nite
Telephone: 302-653-8440
Contact Name: Deb Souder
Website »

More information

Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

More information

Dr. Vicki Howard, Hartwick College, will recount the evolution of department stores from prominent locally owned institutions to stores that were part of national chains, and then to today’s...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
Soda House
298 Buck Rd.
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

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Join Kind to Kids Foundation and celebrate five years of helping Delaware children who are victims of child abuse, neglect, poverty and at-risk youth.  Register Now, this event sells out...

Cost: $40 per person or $300 per table of 8

Where:
Hotel DuPont, Gold Ballroom
11th & Market Streets
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Kind to Kids Foundation
Telephone: 302-654-5440
Contact Name: Jeanette De Bright
Website »

More information

The Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Yaprak Soysal during the month of May. “My Human and I” is an exhibition of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
820 N. French St.
Carvel State Office Building, 2nd Floor
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

New paintings and drawings by Philadelphia artist Ed Bronstein are featured in a solo show. Ed’s new work includes still life paintings, landscapes and city scenes from Delaware and the...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

The Show House will include a Boutique and Garden Shoppe with articles for sale from interior and landscape designers. 14 interior and landscape designers will transform a spacious home situated...

Where:
52 Rolling Rd.
Henlopen Acres, Rehoboth Beach, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

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


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


Website »

More information

Rockford Tower opens for the season during the annual Flower Market, a spring tradition in Rockford Park.  Climb this historic structure and see the Flower Market and the city of Wilmington.  Free.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
2000 Lookout Drive
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-577-7020
Website »

More information

96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market The 96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market adds an extra evening of festival fun with WFM Rocks the Park on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m....

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
Wilmington, DE


Sponsor: Wilmington Flower Market
Website »

More information

This year’s Tyler Arboretum Plant Sale offers gardeners the chance to “Take Tyler Home,” with a themed range of plants from Tyler’s meadows, trails, collections, and...

Where:
Tyler Arboretum
515 Painter Road
Media, DE  19063
View map »


Telephone: 610-566-9134
Contact Name: Gary Bloomer
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Nanticoke Health Services is again joining forces with the Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce and the City of Seaford to promote women’s health awareness at the 3rd Annual LIVE FOR CHOCOLATE...

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Seaford
304 High Street
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Sponsor: Nanticoke Health Services, Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce, & the City of Seaford
Website »

More information

The Penn Museum's popular sleepover program, geared to ages 6 to 12 and their families or chaperones, invites guests to an overnight "expedition" of the Museum. The night's...

Cost: $55

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Join the fun at Friends for Rescue and Pet Care's Quarter Auction in Newark on Friday, May 6, 2016. At least 100 great prizes. Raise your paddles to win a prize for as little as 1, 2,...

Cost: $5 per paddle per attendee

Where:
Aetna Fire Hall
400 Ogletown Rd.
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Friends for Rescue & Pet Care
Telephone: 302-307-2980
Contact Name: Barbara
Website »

More information

Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
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

Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

More information

Join our guides though historic Dover and its cemeteries by lantern light this spring. Space is limited; call (302) 739-9194 for reservations. Lantern tours cancelled due to inclement weather will...

Cost: $10 per person

Where:
First State Heritage Park
Johnson Victrola Museum
375 S. New Street
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
Website »

More information

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Dover Days Celebration Held annually since 1933, Dover Days celebrates the Capital of the First State. An annual week-long celebration of Dover Days events takes place on April 30 - May 8;...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
43 The Green, 25 The Green
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
Website »

More information

New paintings and drawings by Philadelphia artist Ed Bronstein are featured in a solo show. Ed’s new work includes still life paintings, landscapes and city scenes from Delaware and the...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

First Saturdays in the First State   Programs and events on the first Saturday of each month. Sites are open, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., check website for...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
Dover, DE  19901
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Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
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Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
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First Saturdays in the First State   Programs and events on the first Saturday of each month. Sites are open, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., check website for...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
Dover, DE  19901
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Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
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Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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The Show House will include a Boutique and Garden Shoppe with articles for sale from interior and landscape designers. 14 interior and landscape designers will transform a spacious home situated...

Where:
52 Rolling Rd.
Henlopen Acres, Rehoboth Beach, DE
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Sponsor: Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach

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96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market The 96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market adds an extra evening of festival fun with WFM Rocks the Park on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m....

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
Wilmington, DE


Sponsor: Wilmington Flower Market
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Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
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Wilmington Garden Day offers an opportunity to stroll through some of the Brandywine Valley’s most enchanting gardens. Join us on this self-guided tour and plan a day that fits your scheduled....

Cost: $30

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
298 Buck Rd.
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Wilmington Garden Day
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Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
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RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
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Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
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The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Rockford Tower opens for the season during the annual Flower Market, a spring tradition in Rockford Park.  Climb this historic structure and see the Flower Market and the city of Wilmington.  Free.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
2000 Lookout Drive
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Telephone: 302-577-7020
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Attend a Free Family and Community Concert May 7, 2016! Immerse yourself in a mystery about the most famous painting in the world as the Delaware Chamber Music Festival presents an animated...

Cost: Free

Where:
Laird Performing Arts Center of the Tatnall School
1501 Barley Mill Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Delaware Chamber Music Festival
Telephone: 302 442 0572
Contact Name: Kyle Bartlett
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Come celebrate the great outdoors at Taylors Bridge! Delaware Wild Lands is celebrating our latest conservation success — acquisition of the beautiful 1,250-acre Roberts...

Cost: Free

Where:
Taylors Bridge Roberts Farm
170 Staves Landing Rd
Townsend, DE  19734
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Sponsor: Delaware Wild Lands
Telephone: 302-378-2736
Contact Name: Wendy Scott
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This new walking tour tells remarkable stories of black powder explosions that occurred when Hagley was a gunpowder manufactory and the men and women whose lives were changed as a result. Tour...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
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Bill Dixon Yamaha Stunt Rider will be doing his thing on his Yamaha here at Powersports East on Saturday, May 7th at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.! Come out (FREE ADMISSION) and enjoy the show, while...

Cost: Free

Where:
PowerSports East
620 Pulaski HWY (Route 40)
Bear, DE  19701
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Sponsor: Powersports East
Telephone: 302-322-4120
Contact Name: Lynn Fasten
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Stop by to see the Wilmington State Parks’ Naturalist at White Clay Creek State Park’s Creek Fest!   Join Delaware State Parks, White Clay Wild and Scenic Program, National Park Service, Suez...

Cost: Free with paid park admission

Where:
White Clay Creek State Park
880 New London Road
Newark, DE  19711
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Telephone: 302-577-7020
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What better way to celebrate mom than enjoying "An Afternoon Paris"? You will be painting, sipping, enjoying Parisian treats on the patio of Cardinal Hollow Winery. Saturday, May...

Cost: $30 - $60

Where:
Cardinal Hollow Winery
1830 West Point Pike
Lansdale, PA  19486
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Sponsor: Creative Paint Events
Telephone: 267-312-8339
Contact Name: Charisse
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Mispillion River Brewing will be hosting its second annual fundraiser, Short ‘N Stout, for the National Criminal Enforcement Association in honor of Patrolman Chad E. Spicer. The Short...

Cost: $25 in advance, $35 at the door

Where:
Mispillion River Brewing
255 Mullet Run St.
Milford, DE  19963
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Sponsor: Mispillion River Brewing
Telephone: (302) 491-6623
Contact Name: Lauren Bigelow
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Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
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Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
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Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

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Capital Ringers, community handbell ensemble, presents spring shows, “Bach to Rock!” Featuring music from Bach and Mozart to contemporary artists, the Capital Ringers 2016 Spring Concert Tour...

Cost: Freewill/Donations

Where:
Limestone Presbyterian Church
Wilmington, DE


Telephone: 302-632-3106
Contact Name: Linda Simms
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The Penn Museum's popular sleepover program, geared to ages 6 to 12 and their families or chaperones, invites guests to an overnight "expedition" of the Museum. The night's...

Cost: $55

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Capital Ringers, community handbell ensemble, presents spring shows, “Bach to Rock!” Featuring music from Bach and Mozart to contemporary artists, the Capital Ringers 2016 Spring Concert Tour...

Cost: $15pp/$25per family

Where:
The Smyrna Opera House
Smyrna, DE


Telephone: 302-632-3106
Contact Name: Linda Simms
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Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

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
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

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Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

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
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

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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: $12-15

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE
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Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern

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Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

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: $12-15

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE
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Sponsor: World Cafe Life
Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern
Website »

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