Lewes Christmas Parade to dazzle Dec. 7

November 30, 2019

Celebrating an Old Fashioned Christmas in Lewes is the theme of this year’s annual Lewes Christmas Parade, set for 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, with a rain/snow date of Saturday, Dec. 14.

Jeffrey M. Fried has been named honorary grand marshal. Fried served as president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare for 24 years, from January 1995 until March 2019. Under Fried’s leadership, Beebe Healthcare earned a number of national and local awards including its executive staff being named top leadership team in the country for small hospitals by Health Leaders magazine and the medical center being awarded the W.L. Gore Quality Award for overall quality. Beebe was the first hospital in Delaware to receive this award.

Fried has been very involved outside the hospital, serving twice as board president of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, president of the Sussex County Chapter of the American Heart Association, and as a board member for the Sussex Family YMCA and Fulton National Bank Advisory Board.

The judges will be seated on the parade viewing stand in front of the flagpole in Zwaanendael Park, facing Savannah Road.

Announcing the parade for the second consecutive year will be Jim Smith, immediate past president of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

The City of Lewes Mayor and Council members, followed by the chamber’s board of directors, will lead the other parade entries from the line-up area on Sussex Drive and the Highland Acres neighborhood down the parade route along Savannah Road to Second Street.

Prizes are awarded in a number of parade categories, including a prize introduced last year funded by John Ellsworth, a longtime parade entrant and multiple winner of the Best Original Entry prize. Ellsworth is funding cash awards for first, second and third place for organizations that enhance their entries with sound.

The other prize categories are: Marching Group, Band, Clown, Equestrian, Decorated Classic Car (vintage 1967 or older), Decorated Vehicle (after 1967), Fire Company, Commercial Float, Community Organization Float, and Youth Organization Float. All entries must be decorated.

After the parade, the tradition has been to officially illuminate the Christmas tree in Zwaanendael Park followed by candlelight caroling in the park led by Christy Taylor with sound by Bill Larsen. For the third year, the city has had a fresh-cut tree moved into Zwaanendael Park between the museum and the Fisher-Martin House. This year’s tree is a Norway spruce donated by Lenore Koors and family. The tree-lighting ceremony will begin shortly after the last parade entry passes the judges’ reviewing stand.

The Christmas Parade is the culmination of a number of special events and activities around the Christmas weekend in Historic Lewes. Festivities kick off with the Lewes Merchants’ 33rd Annual Hospitality Night from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5, in the historic commercial district. Santa will make a brief visit to his Lewes house in front of Citizens Bank that evening in advance of his arrival at the Lewes Christmas Parade on Saturday night.

The Children’s Beach House will host a Winter White Holiday Celebration benefit from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6. The benefit is open to the public. To purchase tickets, call 302-645-9184 or go to

The Lewes Historical Society’s 46th Annual Christmas Tour of Lewes will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. Also that day, Lewes in Bloom will host its 6th Annual Christmas Market selling Christmas wreaths, bundled fresh greens, floral arrangements and Lewes in Bloom merchandise from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the courtyard at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The St. Peter’s ECW Soup Luncheon will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 7, in the parish hall in conjunction with the Christmas Tour of Lewes. Tour-goers are also invited to visit the Zwaanendael Museum to see its holiday decorations and current exhibits.

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