The Lewes Chamber of Commerce's Ninth Annual Lewes Tulip Celebration will be blossoming Friday, April 6 through Sunday, April 15. It is a partnership with Lewes in Bloom, Lewes Historical Society, Lewes Parks & Recreation Commission, the Zwaanendael Museum, the Historic Lewes Farmers Market and new participants, the Lewes Chamber restaurant members participating in the 2nd annual Lewes TWO-Lips Culinary Week.
The broad-based committee, chaired by chamber member and Mayor Ted Becker, is working on all aspects of the multifaceted event. This year's celebration is receiving financial sponsorship from chamber member Fulton Bank for the sixth consecutive year, and Tulip Planting Bed sponsorship from Long & Foster. The biennial Lewes Preservation Awards, sponsored by the Lewes Historical Society, have been incorporated into the Tulip Celebration since the inception of the event nine years ago. This year the society's Preservation Awards luncheon is at noon, Thursday, April 12, at the Lewes History Museum. For more information, go to www.HistoricLewes.org.
The timing of the tulips' appearance is an inexact science, so the committee has expanded the event to enhance attendees’ tulip-viewing chances. The event dates (April 6-15) span two weekends with special events planned on the first weekend, April 6-7. A day early, Lewes in Bloom and the Lewes Public Library will present a Children's Tulip Celebration story hour at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, April 5, with stories, crafts and snacks at the library. Tulip Celebration Photography Contest submissions will be displayed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, April 6 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 7, in a tent in Zwaanendael Park. Also April 6-7 in the park, weather permitting, Lewes Beekeeping Club will share information about the art and science of beekeeping. There will be a demonstration hive and samples of honey produced by the club’s bees. Pollinators such as honey bees are key to the production of more than 30 percent of foods including strawberries, apples and coffee.
The Zwaanendael Museum will have arrangements on display created by the Sussex Gardeners, a club founded in 1937 that is one of the oldest garden clubs in the United States, a member of the Federation of Garden Clubs, and part of The National Garden Clubs Inc. Central Atlantic Region. Flower-arranging public demonstrations are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, April 6, at Floral Inspirations, 524 E. Savannah Road in the shops at the Beacon Motel. Owner Ken Norman will also be hosting a tulip-arranging class in his store from 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, April 10, as a fundraiser for Lewes in Bloom. Flowers by Mayumi, 128 Second St., invites the public to watch their designers create beautiful floral arrangements from 1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 7.
The 2nd Lewes TWO-Lips Culinary Week is a collaboration with the Lewes Chamber of Commerce and its restaurant members, chaired by chamber board member Rich Garrahan, co-owner of Crooked Hammock Brewery. Each participating business will identify a specialty menu offering to be available from Friday, April 6 to Thursday, April 12. Patrons who order this specialty item can enter a raffle with a grand prize drawing for a two-night stay at the Dogfish Inn (date restrictions apply) with gift certificates and merchandise donated by participating restaurants. A complete list of restaurants will be available soon.
The number of tulips and other spring bulbs planted in the city's parks and other public locations by Lewes in Bloom volunteers has expanded to more than 20,000 and includes more than 100 varieties. Planting locations will be identified on the Tulip Celebration map. Lewes in Bloom has arranged free lectures to be offered Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7, at the Lewes Public Library, with times and topics to be announced and included in the Tiptoe To The Tulips Map. On Saturday, April 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., The Lewes Historical Society is offering free historic chocolate-making demonstrations and samples given by volunteer living history interpreters in period garb at the Museum Gift Shop, 302 Savannah Road. Attendees will learn about 19th century chocolate trade cards and their connection to Lewes' Dutch beginnings and continued heritage. Blue-and-white Dutch-style Delft ceramics and other collectibles will be on sale.
The tulip planting locations and Lewes' historic landmarks will be included on the Tiptoe To The Tulips Map and Shuttle Tours coordinated with the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, with docents John Hanson and Cindy DeEmedio from Lewes in Bloom. The trolley tours are scheduled at 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., April 6, 7 and 14. The Tulip Shuttle Tours are $10; seating is limited, and reservations can be made after March 15 by calling the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, 302-645-8073. The tours depart from the Lewes Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center in the Fisher-Martin House, 120 Kings Highway, next to the Zwaanendael Museum. The Tiptoe To The Tulips Map will be available beginning Thursday, April 5, at the Visitor Center, and each map will have a raffle ticket that can be dropped off no later than Sunday, April 15, at one of the businesses listed on the map. After April 15, there will be a multiple-winner raffle drawing with each winner receiving a gift certificate from one of the participating businesses.
The Tulip Celebration Photography Contest will include judging in six categories - Lewes Architecture, Lewes Landscapes, Quintessential Lewes (subject matter that is uniquely Lewes), Tulips, Lewes Food, and Lewes in Black and White (no sepia submissions). All entries must be photographed in Lewes. The cost to enter is $5 per submission, with a maximum of five entries per photographer. Each photograph can only be entered in one category, chosen by the photographer. Monetary awards will be given for first-, second- and third-place winners in each category. Other prizes include the Mayor's Prize and a cash award from Coastal Camera Club, a contest collaborator for the past eight years, coordinated by CCC member Sue Eberhart. The judges are all professional photographers and chamber members. Exhibit visitors can select their favorite photos for the People's Choice Award to be presented at the 2 p.m. ceremony April 7. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $100 from the chamber. Entries will be accepted beginning Monday, March 12, at the chamber visitor center; deadline is 4 p.m, Friday, March 23. For entry rules and details, call the chamber at 302-645-8073 or visit www.LewesChamber.com.
On the Lewes Beach side of town, Mare's Bears will host a Spring Flowers Quilt Exhibit in the Beacon Motel lobby from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7. The Peninsula Gallery, also in the Beacon Motel, will hold a floral exhibition, Birds and Bees, Flowers and Trees, a multiple-artist show designed to coincide with the Tulip Celebration, celebrate Arbor Day and raise funds for Art in Bloom. The gallery owners will donate 10 percent of their proceeds from sales, and two of the artists, Nick Serratore and Richard Calvo, are donating 100 percent to Art in Bloom. The other artists are Robert Jenkins, Brenda Kidera, Rick Phillips, Teresa Politowicz and Betsey VonDreele. The exhibition will open with a public reception from 5 to 7 p.m., Saturday, March 31. Images from the show are on the gallery website, www.peninsula-gallery.com.
The final schedule of events will be available in early April. The Tiptoe To The Tulips Map will be available at the Lewes Chamber of Commerce Thursday, April 5. For more detailed information, contact the Lewes Chamber of Commerce at 302-645-8073.