Cape May-Lewes Ferry to host Maritime Day celebration May 18 at Lewes Terminal

Remembrance ceremony, vessel tours part of free public event
Representatives of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association Delaware Shore Chapter and the Pilots Association for the Bay and River Delaware lay a wreath at the Unknown Sailors’ Cemetery during the 2012 Maritime Day celebration. SOURCE SUBMITTED
May 14, 2013

Experience and celebrate maritime history and its impact on the region at Delaware’s second annual Maritime Day celebration at the Lewes Ferry Terminal from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 18. Lewes, known as the First Town in the First State, enjoys a heritage that is rich in both its maritime history and its current maritime interests. The celebration, complete with events, displays, vessel tours and activities, is free and the public is welcome.

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“We planned a great day of activities and tours to celebrate merchant marine professionals and to promote the community’s rich maritime history,” said committee member Bill Lowe, vice chairman of the Delaware River and Bay Authority. “This celebration is also an opportunity to learn about the American Merchant Marine and its service in foreign and domestic trades, historic support of the nation’s military, and the many careers it offers. They have done so much for our country and the event’s a great opportunity to celebrate their service.”

The schedule of events for the 2013 Maritime Day Festival is as follows: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Information Booths & Nautical Displays; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Vessel Tours; noon - Lewes Fire Boat Water Cannon Display; 1 p.m. - Wreath Laying Ceremony at Unknown Sailors' Cemetery.

Various maritime participants will have booths inside the terminal, glass skywalk and (weather-dependent) on the boardwalk behind the terminal. A CMLF vessel will be open for public tours of the engine room and bridge. Other vessels will be available for viewing at the adjacent finger pier. Some of the day’s exhibitors include the Lewes Historical Society, Zwaanendael Museum, Lightship Overfalls Foundation, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, United States Naval Academy, SUNY Maritime College, United States Coast Guard Academy and Auxiliary, the Lighthouse Foundation, Bowers Maritime Museum, University of Delaware, Pilots Association for the Bay and River Delaware, Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, Fort Miles and the Lewes Fire Department.

On the Rocks, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry’s waterfront bar and grill, will be open to serve food and beverages.

In 1933, the U.S. Congress declared May 22 as National Maritime Day. The designation honors the contributions of the American merchant marine - civilians who have defended the freedom of the United States since 1775 and who executed the largest sealift the world has ever known during World War II. Observance of National Maritime Day also honors the maritime industry and the benefits it brings Americans in terms of transportation, jobs, goods and recreational opportunities.