Anniversaries worth great celebration

June 27, 2014

The Cape May-Lewes Ferry and Cape Henlopen State Park are celebrating 50th anniversaries this year. Both are truly big deals. The role that each of these institutions plays in the economic vitality and quality of life of Delaware’s Cape Region is nothing short of monumental.

For five decades, the ferries - 365 days a year - have carried millions of passengers between New Jersey and Delaware. Many of those passengers have either made Delaware’s beach towns their destination or stop in Lewes or Rehoboth Beach en route to other destinations. They spend dollars here and add immeasurably to the local tourism industry, which is clean and happy. Operations at the terminals and on the vessels provide good local jobs and a positive experience for the passengers who get a sea cruise - often accompanied by porpoise and whale sightings - while making their way up and down the East Coast. They give locals easy access to lovely Cape May, and vice versa, and when problems with the interstate system arise as they have recently with the I-495 bridge over the Christina River, the ferry crossing provides an important alternate route.

The first core value in Lewes’s list of core values states that the town has a “historic and special relationship with the sea.” The Cape May-Lewes Ferry, ever present on the town’s seascape, represents one of the primary reasons why that core value resonates so clearly.

Just a half mile or so away from the Lewes terminal, Cape Henlopen State Park and its more than 5,000 acres of natural coastal beauty provide a perfect complement to the ferry operation. The park, with its beaches and trails, campsites, playgrounds, disc golf course and attractive annual events, ranks as arguably the finest on the East Coast.

On Sunday, June 29, the ferry will celebrate its golden milestone with daylong entertainment at the terminal.

Then at dusk, the ferry and state park will team up for a fireworks show launched from the park’s fishing pier to remind us dramatically of the importance of them to our region and how blessed we are to live here.

  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.