Once upon a time, Selbyville had dirt roads, a booming railroad and the title of “Strawberry Capital of the World.”
While those things have changed, the town still celebrates its heritage at the annual Old Timer’s Day, which will be held this year on Saturday, June 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., hosted by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Selbyville.
“It’s free and fun for the family, and we want everyone to come out and enjoy themselves,” said Lauren Weaver, Chamber event manager. “There’s a lot of different things going on. … There’s really something for everybody.”
The popular car and truck show also includes tractors and emergency vehicles from 1985 and earlier. Registration for the show begins at 9 a.m., with judging on Church Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The day ends after the 3 p.m. awards ceremony.
The kids’ entertainment zone will offer crafts and more from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., by town hall. Kids can enjoy free pony rides (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), a moon bounce and an obstacle course.
The Selbyville Public Library will be hosting a yard sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Items for sale include books, CDs, VHS tapes, furniture, kitchenware, games, magazines and much more.
Live entertainment is on the main stage at town hall: The Volt—103.5 radio station from 9 to 11 a.m.; the Glass Onion Band with classic rock from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Mid-Coast Gymnastics & Dance Studio’s performance from 2:15 to 2:45 p.m.
In the old railroad station, the Selbyville Town Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nearby, the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company will give free fire truck rides from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Food, craft and other vendors will be at town hall, in the municipal lot by Salem U.M. Church and everywhere in between.
“We have a ton of venders this year,” which are either delicious, Weaver said, (Frozen Farmer ice cream, Sinfully Delicious bakery, Hotdogs for the Troops, Long Dogs, First State Catering and Mini Munch Wagon) or interesting (Slower Lower Apparel, Paws of Tomorrow, Inland Motorsports of Delaware, jewelry artists and more).
The 50/50 drawing will benefit Delaware Hospice, with a check presentation during the award ceremony.
“If you’re a car enthusiast, you’ll go crazy, because there’s so much selection here,” Deal said.
Cars are displayed in their natural environment, parked right on Church Street.
“They’re lined up on the street, not the parking lot,” Weaver said. “It’s shaded. It’s kind of the feel of Selbyville. It’s almost like a big block party.”
Awards will be given for best vehicle from each decade, Best Interior, Best Exterior, Best Car/Truck/Tractor and Best Engine Compartment. The contest also differentiates between stock and custom cars.
“It’s almost a work of art,” Weaver said of the custom designs. Meanwhile, “Some people really like the cars being kept in the original format and pristine, so kind of trying to honor and recognize those from the decades.”
The Robert Rhodes Award was created in memory of a man whose daughter still works at Selbyville Police Department. She and her mother will present the award to their favorite car.
Old Timer’s Day began as a costumed affair and a sidewalk sale.
“The merchants would have a sale, and all the merchants would dress up like people of old,” explained Town Administrator Michael Deal.
“People used to park at town hall to walk all the way downtown,” remembered Debbie McCabe, town secretary/treasurer and a former organizer of the festival.
As the business district petered out, the Town took over the springtime event and added a car show.
“It’s a tradition that’s been going on 59 years, and you’d rather not lose that tradition,” Deal said.
Public parking will be available on all side streets, municipal lots and at the Southern Delaware School of the Arts. Handicapped-accessible parking will be reserved at the PNC parking lot at Church and Main streets.