Lewes Tulip Celebration blooms April 5-14

April 1, 2019

(Editor’s note: This information has been updated to correct dates and events for 2019.) The Lewes Chamber of Commerce's 10th Annual Lewes Tulip Celebration will be blossoming Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 14. It is a partnership with Lewes in Bloom, Lewes Historical Society, Lewes Parks & Recreation Commission, the Zwaanendael Museum, the Historic Lewes Farmers Market and new participants, the Lewes Chamber restaurant members taking part in the third annual Lewes TWO-Lips Culinary Week.

The broad-based committee, chaired by chamber member and Mayor Ted Becker, is working on all aspects of the event. This year's celebration is receiving financial sponsorship from chamber member Fulton Bank for the seventh consecutive year.

The timing of the tulips' appearance is an inexact science, so the committee has expanded the event to enhance attendees’ tulip-viewing chances. The event dates (April 5-14) span two weekends, with special events planned Saturday, April 6.

Tulip Celebration Photography Contest submissions will be displayed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, April 5, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 6, in a tent in Zwaanendael Park, and displayed inside the Fisher-Martin House from April 7 to 14. Tulip arrangements by the Sussex Gardeners will be on display in the Zwaanendael Museum April 5-19.

Lewes in Bloom will hold a sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 6, in Zwaanendael Park, with potted tulips among other plant-related items for sale. Another Lewes in Bloom sale will be held in front of Citizens Bank the following Saturday, April 13.

Also April 6 in the park, weather permitting, Lewes Beekeeping Club will share information about the art and science of beekeeping. There will be a demonstration hive, samples of honey produced by the club’s bees, and tools of the trade including a bee suit and smoker. Pollinators such as honey bees are key to the production of more than 30 percent of foods including strawberries, apples and coffee. Cape Artists will be painting in the park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 6, weather permitting.

Lewes Historical Society will commemorate the 206th anniversary of the bombardment of Lewes by the British during the War of 1812 from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 7, at the Cannonball House. As the sole surviving structure of a 22-hour bombardment, the house bears the scar of the engagement in the form of a cannonball embedded in its foundation. The site houses maritime history, and some items related to the event that gave the town the nickname Brave Little Lewes.

The third Lewes TWO-Lips Culinary Week is a collaboration with the Lewes Chamber of Commerce and its restaurant members, chaired by chamber board member Rich Garrahan, co-owner of Crooked Hammock Brewery. Each participating business will identify a specialty menu offering to be available from Friday, April 5 to Thursday, April 11. Patrons who order this specialty item can fill out a raffle contest form for a chance to win a two-night stay at the Dogfish Inn (date restrictions apply) with gift certificates and merchandise donated by participating restaurants. A complete list of restaurants will be available soon.

The number of tulips and other spring bulbs planted in the city's parks and other public locations by Lewes in Bloom volunteers has expanded to more than 20,000 and includes more than 100 varieties. Planting locations will be identified on the Tulip Celebration map. 

The tulip planting locations and Lewes historic landmarks will be included on the Tiptoe To The Tulips Map and Shuttle Tours coordinated with the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, with docents Fred Phillips and Cindy DeEmedio from Lewes in Bloom. The trolley tours are scheduled at 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Saturdays, April 6 and 13. Tulip Shuttle Tour tickets are $10; seating is limited, and reservations can be made now by calling the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, 302-645-8073. Tours depart from the chamber visitors center in the Fisher-Martin House, 120 Kings Highway, next to the Zwaanendael Museum. The Tiptoe To The Tulips Map will be available beginning Thursday, April 4, at the visitors center, and each map will have a raffle ticket that can be dropped off no later than Sunday, April 14, at one of the businesses listed. After April 14, there will be a multiple-winner raffle drawing with each winner receiving a gift certificate from one of the participating businesses.

On the Lewes Beach side of town, three additional activities will take place in the businesses under the Beacon Motel, plus one new event behind the motel.

Mare’s Bears will host a Spring Flowers Quilt Exhibit in the Beacon Motel lobby from 11 a.m. to  4 p.m., Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6.

The Peninsula Gallery will hold a floral-themed exhibition, Spring Mix, a multiple-artist show by members of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters, designed to coincide with the Tulip Celebration. In all, about 20 artists will submit up to five images each that will be juried down to 40 works to be included in the show that runs through the end of April. The exhibition will open with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 6. The public is invited. To see images from the show, go to

Floral Inspirations will host flower arranging demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, April 5, in its shop on the first floor of the Beacon Motel.

Southern Delaware Oysterfest, a new event, will take place from noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 6, behind the Beacon Motel. The event benefits the Greater Lewes Foundation and Delaware Wild Lands. There will be oysters, music, beverages and more. Tickets are $50. For more information or to order tickets, go to

The final schedule of events will be available in early April. The Tiptoe To The Tulips Map will be available at the Lewes Chamber of Commerce April 4. For more information, call the Lewes Chamber at 302-645-8073


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