The Cape May-Lewes Ferry’s third annual Maritime Day celebration will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 17, at the Lewes Ferry Terminal. The celebration, complete with activities and events, displays, and vessel tours, is free and the public is welcome.
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“We planned a great day of activities and tours to celebrate the merchant marine profession and to promote our area’s rich maritime history,” said Nikky Fisher, Lewes terminal manager. “This celebration is also an opportunity to learn about the U.S. 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 event will be held rain or shine. Information booths and nautical displays will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vessel tours will take place between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.. A maritime history talk on the German U-boat surrender will take place at 11 a.m. The Lewes fire boat will put on a water cannon display at noon. At 1 p.m., a wreath-laying ceremony at the Unknown Sailors' Cemetery is scheduled. Attending will be representatives of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association, Delaware Shore Chapter and the Pilots Association for the Bay and River Delaware.
Some of the day’s exhibitors include the Lewes Historical Society, Lightship Overfalls Foundation, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, Fort Miles, Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, University of Delaware, Zwaanendael Museum, Lewes Fire Department, The Lighthouse Foundation, Bower Maritime Museum, Delaware Bay and River Cooperative, the Pilots’ Association for the Bay and River Delaware, Nanticoke River Power Squadron, Sea Scout, and Girl Scouts of Chesapeake Bay.
New Jersey visitors who want to attend the festival can take a departure from Cape May as a foot passenger fter parking their vehicles free in the Cape May Terminal lot. A special Maritime Day rate for New Jersey visitors has been created to encourage visitors to experience the day’s activities. Call 1-800-643-3779 for details.
National Maritime Day is observed May 22, the date that the American steamship Savannah sailed from the United States to England. This event marked the first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean using steam propulsion. 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.
The Cape May-Lewes Ferry is owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by compact in 1962. For schedule, rates and other program information, go to www.CMLF.com or call toll 800-643-3779.