The Lewes Chamber of Commerce continues its partnership with Lewes in Bloom, The Lewes Historical Society, Lewes Parks and Recreation Commission, the Zwaanendael Museum and the Historic Lewes Farmers Market to present the seventh annual Lewes Tulip Celebration, blossoming Thursday, April 7, through Saturday, April 16.
A broad-based committee, chaired by chamber member and Mayor Ted Becker, is working on all aspects of the multifaceted event. This year’s celebration is receiving financial sponsorship by chamber member Fulton Bank for the fourth consecutive year.
The timing of the tulips’ appearance is an inexact science and, to that end, the committee decided to expand the time frame of the event to enhance the chances that the tulips will be in bloom. The event dates span two weekends with special events planned for the first weekend Thursday through Saturday, April 7, 8 and 9.
The Lewes Historical Society’s Lewes Preservation Awards, presented every other year, will be announced during this year’s Tulip Celebration at a date and time to be announced.
To date, 15,055 tulips have been planted in the city’s parks and other public locations to be identified on the map produced in association with the celebration. More than 100 varieties will be on display. They were all planted by Lewes in Bloom volunteers, an organization that promotes the beautification of Lewes by planting flowerbeds and planters throughout the city and maintaining them during the entire growing season. Lewes received top honors in the prestigious 2015 America in Bloom national awards program at the annual awards held in Holland, Mich., in September 2015. Lewes received a top five bloom rating out of a possible five blooms and also won in the champions for small towns with populations under 5,000 category. Lewes received special mention for its community floral displays.
The tulip planting locations as well as Lewes’ historic landmarks will be included on the Tiptoe To The Tulips map and the Tiptoe To The Tulips Trolley Tours coordinated with the Cape May-Lewes Ferry with docents from the Lewes Historical Society and Warren Golde, founder and past co-chair of Lewes in Bloom.
The trolley tours are scheduled for April 7 to 9 only. The trolley tours are $10, and reservations can be made by calling the Lewes Chamber of Commerce at 302-645-8073.
The event organizers created the Tiptoe To The Tulips map with an associated ticket. Tiptoe To The Tulips tickets (separate from the Tulip Trolley tickets) are free and will be distributed with each map. Ticket holders who visit 10 of the businesses that have advertisements surrounding the map and get their ticket stamped will be entered in drawings for individual gift certificates donated by participating businesses. The maps and tickets can be picked up beginning Thursday, April 7 through Saturday, April 16 at the Lewes Chamber of Commerce visitor center in the Fisher-Martin House in Zwaanendael Park behind the Zwaanendael Museum. Completed tickets can be turned in at the visitor center, which is closed on Sunday. Tickets also can be turned in Sunday, April 17 at either Sand N Stones or Marsha’s Co., both on Front Street across from the 1812 parking lot. Ticket holders need not be present to win. The drawing will be held Monday, April 18, and winners will be notified by phone or email.
A photography contest is another component of the festival, with judging in five categories: Lewes Architecture, Lewes Landscapes, Quintessential Lewes (subject matter that is uniquely Lewes), Tulips (images must be photographed in the Lewes geographic area) and Lewes Food. The cost to enter the contest is $5 per submission with a maximum of five entries per photographer. Monetary awards will be made for first, second and third place in each of the five subject categories. The judges are all professional photographers and chamber members.
Also, visitors to the photography exhibit will have the opportunity to select their favorite photograph, and the winner will be awarded a special ribbon at the 2 p.m. ceremony Saturday, April 9. The Grand Prize winner will receive a cash prize of $100 from the chamber. Entries will be accepted beginning Monday, March 14 at the chamber visitor center in the Fisher-Martin House at 120 Kings Highway. Deadline for entry is 4 p.m., Monday, March 28.
Awards will be presented at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 9. For entry rules and more information, call the chamber at 302-645-8073 or go to www.LewesChamber.com. The photographs will be on display in Zwaanendael Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, April 7, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9.
The final schedule of events will be available in early April and the Tiptoe To The Tulips map and Tulip Trolley tickets will be available at the Lewes Chamber of Commerce Thursday, April 7. For more information, call 302-645-8073.