Delaware River and Bay Authority officials have announced the Cape May-Lewes Ferry’s 50th anniversary will culminate in a weekend of family fun activities, including live entertainment, carnival games, an outdoor concert, a screening of a documentary about the ferry and dedication ceremonies.
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The Cape May celebration will take place Saturday, June 28, while the Lewes festival is set for the following day, Sunday, June 29. Both events are free to the public.
“Fifty years ago, the first ferry carried eight vehicles and 15 passengers from Lewes to Cape May,” said Heath Gehrke, director of Ferry Operations. “Over the years, we have transported more than 14 million vehicles and 43 million passengers. We’re proud of our history and excited to celebrate it with the communities we serve. Bring a lawn chair and the family, and come on down and enjoy!”
Both terminal celebrations begin at 9 a.m. and feature fun activities for families including live entertainment, food tents, classic car shows (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and carnival games. A dedication ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. each day and includes invited speakers, a buried time capsule, and commemorative plaques and brick pavers.
Live outdoor music is scheduled 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday in Cape May and 5 to 8 p.m., Sunday in Lewes. The Funsters will perform at the Lewes event. A screening of the WHYY documentary “Billion Mile Journey,” the story of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Saturday in Cape May and 8 p.m. Sunday in Lewes. At 9:15 p.m., Sunday, a fireworks display staged at the fishing pier at Cape Henlopen State Park will end the celebration with a bang.
As an added bonus, ferry officials are also offering special vehicle and passenger fares to celebrate the Cape May-Lewes Ferry’s 50th Anniversary weekend. Ferry customers can purchase foot passenger tickets at 50 percent off the regular price for travel that weekend. The cost for a round-trip vehicle, including all its passengers, is priced at $50. Customers should mention the promo code “50th” when making their reservation at the toll booth or at the customer service counters.
The Cape May-Lewes Ferry, which is operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority and serves the Twin Capes region of Cape May, N.J., and Lewes, began operations July 1, 1964. On that date, the first ferry vessel departed the Lewes terminal at 6:47 a.m., carrying eight vehicles and 15 passengers. Cars from each of the 50 states and numerous foreign countries have made the ferry trip and over 1 billion miles have been covered during the 50 years of round-trip travel.