The annual Lewes Christmas Parade, presented by the City of Lewes and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, will step off at 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4, with a rain or snow date set for the same time Dec. 11. Celebrating an Old-Fashioned Christmas in Lewes is the theme.
In lieu of naming a grand marshal this year, the parade is honoring all pandemic frontline workers.
Jim Smith, past president of the Lewes chamber board of directors and Mike DiPaolo, Delaware Community Foundation vice president, will reprise their 2019 roles as parade co-announcers.
This year’s parade judges represent three of the many frontline workers’ sectors – healthcare, education and emergency services responders. They are Beebe Healthcare President and CEO Dr. David Tam, Cape Henlopen School District Superintendent Robert Fulton and Lewes Fire Department Chief Dale “Woody” Magee. Co-chairs of the Lewes Christmas Parade organizing committee are chamber members Craig Beebe of NextHome Tomorrow Realty and G.W. Thompson of Canary Point Consulting.
Before the parade kickoff, local entertainer Jgar Helwig will perform live holiday music from the judges’ reviewing stand in Zwaanendael Park, facing Savannah Road. The stage is provided by Double E Lawn Care and the lighting and decorations are provided by the Lewes Lions Club, coordinated by Tommy Engel.
Lewes Mayor and Council members, followed by the chamber’s board of directors, will lead the parade entries from the lineup area on Sussex Drive and the Highland Acres neighborhood down the parade route along Savannah Road to Second Street.
Prizes will be awarded in a number of categories including one recognizing entrants that include a sound component. The other prize categories are: Marching Group, Band, Clown, Equestrian, Decorated Classic Car (1967 or older), Decorated Vehicle (1967 or newer), Fire Company, Commercial Float, Community Organization Float and Youth Organization Float. All entrants must be preregistered and need to be decorated. Entrants will be notified of their entry number and parade lineup time via a mailing after Monday, Nov. 22. The parade lineup will take place from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. and the parade begins at 5 p.m. Entrants are asked to commit to the rain/snow date on the following Saturday should postponement be necessary.
After the parade, everyone is invited to join Mayor Ted Becker as he illuminates the Christmas tree in Zwaanendael Park, followed by candlelight caroling in the park led by Christy Taylor with some of her music students. This year’s tree is a 30-foot blue spruce donated by Patricia and Harry Still. The tree-lighting ceremony will commence shortly after the last parade entry passes by the judges’ reviewing stand.
The Lewes Christmas Parade is the culmination of many special events and activities associated with Christmas weekend celebrations in Historic Lewes. Festivities kick off with the Lewes Merchants’ 34th annual Hospitality Night from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 2, in the historic commercial district. Second Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 4 to 8 p.m. Santa will make a brief visit to his Lewes house in front of Citizens Bank prior to his arrival at the Lewes Christmas Parade Saturday night.
To learn more, go to leweschamber.com/events.