Sea glass festival names guest speakers June 1-2

May 12, 2024

Stories of beachcombing around the globe, the history and continued mystery of the Roosevelt Inlet shipwreck, real versus fake sea glass, and the health of the Inland Bays are on the agenda for the Lewes Historical Society’s 17th annual Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival.

This year’s event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, at 110 Shipcarpenter St., Lewes.

Andrew Lyter, LHS executive director, said, "Sea glass and maritime arts are a great and unique way for folks to approach history. The topics for this year's lectures appeal to your avid historians as well as sea glass enthusiasts. We are delighted to welcome our friends from the Zwaanendael Museum, and Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, among others." 

The festival will offer four presentations during the weekend.

Devon Filicicchia, Zwaanendael Museum site supervisor, will present a hands-on, interactive session at 11 a.m., June 1, about the Roosevelt Inlet shipwreck uncovered off the coast of Lewes in fall 2004. She will bring objects from the more than 60,000, unearthed during the archeological study of the 18th-century vessel. This collection of artifacts is one of the largest maritime archeological collections in the region.

Cesar Williams-Padin, International Sea Glass Association board president, will speak at 2 p.m., June 1, about how to tell the difference between real and man-made sea glass. A sea glass artist and avid collector, Williams-Padin will offer his expert guidance on finding authentic treasures online. "I invite participants to explore, learn and gain the confidence to shop for sea glass as we unravel the differences between genuine beach and sea glass versus clever imitations," he said.
At 12 p.m., June 2, Mark Carter and Anna Fagan from the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays will present Watershed-wide Perspective of the Inland Bays: The Hidden Science Surrounding You During Your Walk on the Beach.
“As a beachcomber myself, I often overlook what is happening in the water and around me, as I am so often focused on what is in front of me in the sand. Mark and Anna will be opening our eyes to the health of the waterways and what lies within them, which they are working hard to protect,” said Nancy LaMotte, event manager.

Artist and collector Heidi Blake from Currituck, N.C., will speak at 2 p.m., June 2. Having lived in both Iceland and Panama, Blake will share stories and pieces of beach treasure she has been collecting for more than 50 years. “I know that I have pieces in my collection that date back to the Vikings. History tells on itself,” said Blake. “Whatever country I’m in, I just go right to the beach.” Blake will display hundreds of beach finds from all over the world, including rare pieces of sea glass, fishing floats, stoppers, porcelain figurines, clay pipes, sterling silverware found on the beach originating from the U.S. Lines, and more.

In addition to the speaker series, the event will host 75 sea glass and coastal artisans, an antique bottle display and shard identification, glass-blowing demonstrations, a vast sea glass collection, live music and food each day. Tickets are $10 per day, available at the gate or in advance online. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

For more information and to buy tickets, go to

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