Lewes Lights is back, bigger and brighter than ever.
An official kickoff event was held Dec. 3 on Manila Avenue, the 2020 winner of Best Decorated Street in Lewes. This year’s event has drawn 131 homes and 60 businesses to participate. Organizers estimate nearly 150 additional homes not participating in Lewes Lights have also added decorations of some kind.
“Out of a very dim situation last year this event was born, and I commend all the organizers for what they did in putting this together,” said Mayor Ted Becker. “We look forward to this going on for many years into the future, and we thank you for your energy. It does get brighter every day.”
In its second year, Lewes Lights organizers have expanded the radius for those eligible to win awards to any home in the 19958 ZIP code that is east of Route 1. Anyone who lives in the 19958 ZIP code may compete for the Clark Griswold Award, which recognizes the most over-the-top light display in the event. They’ve also added a philanthropic partner in Children’s Beach House, which features a special light display courtesy of Longwood Gardens.
Unfortunately, in the days leading up to the Lewes Lights kickoff, breakthrough COVID infections and the emergence of a new variant forced Children’s Beach House to cancel its fundraising events set for Dec. 3-5 and all in-person events through the end of the year.
“The amazing news is most sponsors and ticket holders have donated their commitment regardless of the [cancellation],” Mullins said. “The spirit of the season is very present in those selfless acts of charity.”
Other members of the community have jumped on board to raise funds for Children’s Beach House. Twelve-year-old Izzy Zigman organized with her neighborhood friends to sell hot chocolate to passing motorists on the tour to raise money for CBH. Also, Lewes Cycle has organized a five-mile, casual-pace, nighttime ride along the Lewes Lights tour Wednesday, Dec. 15. At the end of the tour, the shop’s parking lot in front of the Beacon Motel will be feature campfires, hot chocolate, coffee, Dogfish beer and more. Proceeds will benefit local charities, including CBH.
To raise some more money for CBH, a raffle was held at the kickoff event. The winner was invited to ride on a Lewes fire truck as it led a caravan of cars through the city to check out light displays. On the truck, they were joined by Lewes volunteer firefighter Chris Colpo and his friend Brett McDonald, who attended Children’s Beach House and recently forged a strong friendship with Colpo after meeting him at the Camden-Wyoming Fire Company, where Colpo works.
For the first time, Lewes Fire Department decorated Station 1 on Savannah Road.
“Our crazy days slowed down, and we got to form a plan,” Colpo said. “Then we just bonded and had fun for like four hours putting decorations up.”
Also new this year is a tour curated by local historian Mike DiPaolo, who will create a route around Lewes that tells stories of Christmases past while also highlighting some of the city’s top light displays. The tour will be narrated by DiPaolo.