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Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival set June 24-25

At the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal in Lewes
Sea glass shards often have a frosted side and a shiny side. SUBMITTED PHOTO
June 18, 2017

The Lewes Historical Society announces the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 24, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, June 25, at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal at 43 Cape Henlopen Drive in Lewes. Admission is $5 per person each day, to be paid at the gate; children under 12 attend free. Event parking will be available at Kings Highway near Cape Henlopen High School. Free shuttles on ferry buses will start running at 8 a.m. both days. Regular ferry bus service will take place with the downtown stop at Market Street near St. Peter's Church. The wait time should be no more than 15 minutes.

Last year, the festival attracted over 4,000 visitors. 2017 is the eighth year for this event, and it's expected to be better than ever. It will feature nearly 70 sea glass artists, joined by other coastal artists including decoy carvers and waterfowl artists. Vendors come from up and down the East Coast, and as far away as the Virgin Islands, Greece and Italy. There will be festive live music and delicious food all weekend.

Like collecting shells, fossils or stones, exploring shorelines to search for sea glass is a hobby many beachcombers enjoy. Sea glass hobbyists often fill decorative jars with their collections and take great pleasure in sourcing out a shard's origin. Artisans craft beautiful pieces of jewelry, stained glass and other decorative treasurers from sea glass.

Sea glass can be found all over the world, but the beaches of the northeast United States, California, northwest England, Mexico, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Nova Scotia, Italy and southern Spain are famous for their bounty of sea glass, bottles, bottle lips and stoppers, art glass, marbles, and pottery shards. The best times to look are during spring tides and during the first low tide after a storm.

Shards may also evidence a frosted side and a shiny side, most likely because they are pieces broken off from larger glass objects still embedded in mud, silt or clay, which are only slowly being exposed by wave action and erosion.

With greater environmental awareness, there has been a decline in naturally occurring sea glass, creating a great market for expensive and rare pieces.

For more information, call 302-645-7670.