Tulip celebration to bloom in Lewes April 3-12

March 18, 2020

The Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Lewes Tulip Celebration will blossom from Friday, April 3 to Sunday, April 20, with Lewes in Bloom, Lewes Historical Society, Lewes Parks & Recreation Commission and Zwaanendael Museum working as partners. Financial sponsorship is being provided by chamber member Fulton Bank for the eighth consecutive year, and bank representatives will be in the Zwaanendael Park event tent with giveaways from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 4.

The event dates span two weekends with special events planned April 4, but the tulips’ blooming dates may not exactly coincide, depending on weather conditions.

The number of tulips and varied spring bulbs planted by Lewes in Bloom volunteers around the city’s parks and other public locations expanded to more than 23,000, and sites will be identified on the event map. More than 100 varieties will be on display.

A new feature this year is the children’s photography exhibition in partnership with the Lewes Historical Society. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade may submit photos taken in Lewes with a smartphone or a point-and-shoot camera. The entries will be on display April 3-11 in the Lewes History Museum at the Margaret H. Rollins Community Center. Each child may submit one photograph. A printed copy can be submitted with no mat, unframed, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., until Friday, March 20. The center is closed Sundays. 

The popular Tiptoe To The Tulips Trolley Tours, presented in collaboration with the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, take place with departures at 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m., Saturdays, April 4 and 11, from the chamber’s visitor center in the Fisher-Martin House, 120 Kings Highway, next to the Zwaanendael Museum. Trolley tour tickets are sold exclusively by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. The cost is $10 per person and the number of tickets is limited. To purchase tickets, call the chamber at 302-645-8073. 

The Tulip Celebration’s Photography Contest is taking place again this year with five categories: Lewes Tulips; Lewes Beaches; Tastes of Lewes; Lewes, A Town of Special Events; and Lewes, A Historical Town. The fee is $5 per entry with a maximum of five entries per person. Entries will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., between Monday, March 9, and Friday, March 20, at the visitors center which is closed Sundays. Specifications are to mount an unframed photograph securely on foam board, do not use adhesive spray, and add a white mat on top of the photograph. Maximum dimensions are 11-by-14-inches. Monetary awards will be made for first, second and third place in each of the subject categories.

Other prizes include the Mayor’s Prize and a cash award from Coastal Cameral Club, which has collaborated on the contest for the past nine years with coordination from club member Sue Eberhart. The judges are all professional photographers and chamber members. Exhibit visitors can select their favorite photograph, and the winner will receive the People’s Choice Award at the ceremony at  2 p.m., April 4, in Zwaanendael Park. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $100 from the chamber. All submissions will be displayed in the Fisher-Martin House during the chamber’s hours of operation April 3-11.

The Tiptoe To The Tulips Map will be available starting Thursday, April 1, at the Lewes Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. Each map will have a raffle ticket that can be torn off and dropped off no later than Sunday, April 12 at one of the businesses listed on the map. All tickets will be collected after April 12, and there will be a multiple-winner drawing with each winner receiving a gift certificate from one of the participating businesses.

Also on April 4 in Zwaanendael Park, the Lewes Beekeeping Club will share good family-friendly information, honey samples from its bees, a demonstration hive and tools of the trade including a bee suit and smoker. The club will offer seed packets of flowers to to start pollinator gardens. Weather cooperating, the Cape Artists will be painting from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.

Tulip arrangements by Sussex Gardeners will be on display April 3-12 in the Zwaanendael Museum, as well as the museum’s collection of Dutch Delft blue pottery. The museum will be closed Easter Sunday, April 12.

Two florist shops in Lewes are participating in the tulip celebration. Owner/designer Mayumi Williamson of Flowers by Mayumi at 128 Second St. will host a drop-in floral arranging demonstration at 11 a.m., April 3.

Floral Inspirations, on the beach side of the canal at 524 E. Savannah Road, will offer flower arranging demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays, April 4 and 11. A wide variety of colorful spring tulips will be on hand for purchase including classic varieties and assorted parrot tulips, frill tulips and French tulips. These iconic spring blooms are only available for a limited time, and owner/designer Ken Norman encourages people to stop in just for the smell of it. 

Lewes in Bloom will stage an Easter flower sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., April 10 and 11, in front of Citizens Bank on Second Street.

For more information, go to and find 11th Annual Tulip Celebration under Latest News.


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