A full day of activities has been arranged to celebrate the dedication of the Lewes Canalfront Park, beginning at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 15 (rain date Aug. 16), with the staging of an original children’s play,
“Pirates of Lewes” is created and performed by the Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre. This group of local children ages 7-12 will base their play upon the history and legend of the pirates of the Delaware Bay.
Following the play, from noon until 2 p.m., there will be a musical performance by Nancy Joseph, a strolling magician and a balloon performer, a kite-flying exhibition and a children’s workshop. Chances will be drawn for six tickets to the Kalmar Nyckel, which docks at Lewes Sunday, Aug. 16.
At 3 p.m., scenes from the play “My Name is Lewes” will be performed. A ribbon cutting for the new children’s playground at the park will take place at 3:15 pm.
The formal dedication event will begin at 4 p.m., hosted by Lewes Mayor James L. Ford III.
Ceremonies will feature brief speeches by state and federal officials and a history of the Canalfront Park property by Dennis Forney, publisher of the Cape Gazette.
Certificates will be awarded to major organizational supporters of the park.
Prior to the dedication, the Cape Henlopen High School band will perform patriotic songs. A four-cannon salute to the new park, courtesy of Richard Perez, will take place at the conclusion of the ceremonies.
“We hope that everyone in the region will come to help us celebrate this milestone achievement,” said Ford.
The final dedication event will be a performance at 5 p.m. by the band vinyl shockley, headlined by Lewes native Ed Shockley. A musician, singer, songwriter and producer, Shockley has appeared on stage and television, and his songs have been widely used in commercials on TV and radio.
The public is invited without charge to all phases of the daylong celebration. Those who attend the dedication and concert should bring folding chairs and blankets for seating on the park’s new Village Green.
The day’s events will take place at the new 2.9-acre Lewes Canalfront Park location on Front Street in Lewes. The park features a football-field-sized village green, shade arbors, benches, an overlook and pier, restrooms, a marina, the children’s playground, a performance pavilion and thousands of plantings and trees. A new 23-car parking lot and Front Street sidewalk were also developed as part of the park.
More than 1,600 Lewes-area residents, friends and businesses helped generate $2.5 million, the largest segment of the nearly $10 million required to purchase the site, do planning and infrastructure work, and then construct the park in two major stages. Those donors, along with numerous state and federal agencies and foundations, will be recognized at the dedication ceremony and through a special commemorative booklet that will be given to all attendees.