Arts & Entertainment
It all started in 2011 with a small cocktail party and a meeting at the library. Now, the governor and Delaware’s First Lady are attending groundbreakings and the endowment is growing for the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.
On the cool, sunny morning of Dec. 1, most of the leaves had fallen in Dagsboro, obscuring the ground where flowers will reappear next spring, and where miles of green briar have already been heaved out.
“The Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek will be a world-class, inspirational, educational and sustainable public botanic garden in southern Delaware, created for the benefit and enjoyment of all,” their mission promises.
Children across the land have been preparing for the upcoming slate of holiday concerts almost as diligently as they’ve worked on their lists for Santa. Horns are tooting, drummers are drumming and singers are tuning their pipes in anticipation of the chance to shine in front of their families and friends and spread some holiday cheer while they’re at it.
Aiming to spread holiday cheer, the Town of Ocean View will be holding its annual Holiday in the Park this weekend. The public is being invited to join in the festivities at John West Park on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 3 to 5 p.m.
Away in a manger,
no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus
laid down his sweet head,
The stars in the bright sky
looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus
asleep on the hay.
Next weekend, the Ocean View Presbyterian Church will open its doors for its annual Nativity Festival — inviting the public to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
“I like the idea of all kids having a brand new book for Christmas,” said Paolo Donato, who turned 6 on Dec. 1.
And that, in a nutshell, is what Santa’s Book Bag is all about.
Santa’s Book Bag is the brainchild of Lynne Davies, a retired teacher who recently moved from New Jersey to Bayside in West Fenwick.
“I was at my book club meeting in Northern Jersey a few years ago, and we were talking about what an important role books had played for each of us as children. I even remembered the smell and feel of the pages when I opened up a new book and wondered about the story,” said Davies.
“And then the idea came to me, as clear as can be — even the name, Santa’s Book Bag,” she added. “From there, I set out learning how to donate books to the best organizations to get them to needy children and which businesses would be willing to have collection boxes. By Christmas of that year, we collected over a thousand books to donate.”
Building on last year’s successful debut, Bethany Beach will again celebrate the holidays each Saturday in December with Weekend Wonderland, which will feature special shopping hours, and festive activities including caroling around the town’s boardwalk holiday tree, free gift-wrapping, a holiday movie, crafts for children and a chance to meet characters from the Disney movie “Frozen.”
Selbyville, Millsboro, Dagsboro and more this weekend
For those in need of some holiday cheer, a number of local parades are ringing in the Christmas season in the next two weeks. Families are being invited to line the streets and cheer on their favorite floats, marching bands, fire trucks, classic cars and local celebrities.
Imagine sitting in a bright, cozy, yet high-ceilinged church as the delicate sound of bells fills the air.
The Capital Ringers bell choir is bringing that melody back to Selbyville on Saturday, Dec. 3, at Salem United Methodist Church.
The cooler nights of December are going to give way to a tropical breeze this weekend, with the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation’s (QRCF) annual Caribbean Christmas event at Mango’s in downtown Bethany Beach on Saturday, Dec. 3.
If local parades and tree-lighting events don’t offer a big enough helping of holiday spirit, there are two area events that offer winter festivities on a grand scale: Winterfest of Lights in Ocean City, Md., and the new Winter WonderFEST in Lewes.
How about a little sand with your Santa Claus?
Fenwick Island will welcome the Christmas season with a “Sea the Holidays” community event.
Residents and neighbors are being invited to a holiday gathering on Friday, Dec. 2. People can enjoy caroling, the tree-lighting and shared treats from 6 to 9 p.m.
After the dishes have been put away and the whole family is over-stuffed with turkey and fixings, many begin their Christmas holiday decorating. And, this weekend, two area towns are inviting the public to join in on lighting the towns’ Christmas trees and get into the holiday spirit.
Beside a quiet country road, sunny fields stretch toward a leafy forest that hides beauties within. A 37-acre public garden is coming to Dagsboro, and the public is being invited to the groundbreaking of Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek on Thursday, Dec. 1.
Public tours will begin at 10 a.m., focusing on the Woodlands pathways down to Pepper Creek. The ceremony will begin sometime between 11 and 11:30 a.m.
It’s been several years since the volunteer group formed to create a “world-class, inspirational, educational” public garden on Piney Neck Road, just outside of Dagsboro.
“It’s a seminal event,” said Ray Sander, board treasurer. It’s perhaps the first public opportunity to witness what’s happening behind the scenes. “They can take a tour there and see what we’ve done. … We’re moving ahead.”
A “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” evening of socializing, shopping, entertainment, food and drink in Bethany Beach will benefit girls thousands of miles away who just want an education.
The irony of that is not lost on the event’s coordinators, Harriett Nettles and Sedona restaurant owner Marion Parrott.
The event, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1, is a fundraiser for the Helambu Education & Livelihood Project (HELP), which seeks to build schools in remote parts of Nepal. Helambu, Nettles said, is “one of the poorest and most illiterate regions of Nepal. The only way to get there is to trek from Katmandu.”
Nettles, who lives in Asheville, N.C., first traveled to Nepal as a volunteer with Children of the Earth. There, she said, she met a young man named Jimmy Lama, who was the first person in his village to graduate from secondary school and had started HELP as a way to give back to his community.
You know the old saying: “Good things come to those who wait.”
Before local restaurateur Matt Haley went to India for ongoing humanitarian efforts in August 2014, he and I chatted at a fundraising event. I told him that I’d tried without success to highlight a couple chefs at his SoDel restaurants. We exchanged business cards and he said, “I’ll fix that when I return from India.” Sadly, he was killed in a motorcycle accident on that trip.
About a year ago, Debbie Ruley, a member of the Post 17 Lewes American Legion Auxiliary (as am I), and mother of chef Doug Ruley, vice president of SoDel Concepts, told me that she would put me in touch with her son to highlight in my column.
Doug and I finally met at the American Legion in September, to celebrate his sister Nichole’s birthday. Well worth the wait! Like my husband, Jim, Nichole enjoys singing on karaoke night. She’s a big fan of her older brother’s cooking.
Patti Grimes, executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation and the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, wears many hats. This week, she dons one more.
Grimes has been named 2016 Sussex County Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay. She received the award on Wednesday, Nov. 16, during a luncheon at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Honorary co-chairs for the event were Delaware First Lady Carla J. Markell and Michelle Freeman; co-chairs were Sandy Taras and Twig Burton.
Grimes, who was a Girl Scout as a child growing up in Boonsboro, Md., has a grown daughter, Marisa, and said she hopes all young girls realize just how much they can change the world.
“I want them to know how valuable they are and how unique and special each person is,” she said.
’Tis the season to shop, and Frankford’s Annual Holiday Expo will return Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., for people who want to find a unique gift or some holiday décor for their own homes.
The Frankford Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary will host about 40 vendors, selling many types of gifts, including crafts, decorations, kitchen goods, beauty products and homemade candy. Decorations on offer can fill a range of tastes, including cozy woodworks, delicate glass artworks, evergreen Christmas wreaths and more.
Independent consultants will sell items from LuLaRoe, Mary Kay, Origami Owl, Pampered Chef and Scentsy.
Organizer Crystal Hudson is a vendor, but she said she particularly loves the community aspect of a holiday market.
“I love the fact that you get to meet new people,” she said. “It’s just the fulfillment of being able to meet people and be involved in something.”
Shoppers can ask questions and learn about the items they’re buying.
“You get to meet a variety of people. … You get to have a one-on-one with the people who are making the product or selling the product. I think it’s nice,” said Hudson, owner of Country Heaven gift shop in Frankford. “You get people dedicated to their product or what they make.”
People can get season’s greetings and season’s shopping from Indian River High School Band this weekend, as the Indian River High School Band Boosters will host a Holiday Shoppers Fair on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
While enjoying complimentary snacks and soft drinks and live music by IRHS music ensembles, people can do some holiday shopping at Cripple Creek Country Club.
It’s a night to fundraise and reignite a passion for saving the environment.
The Inland Bays Foundation hosts its third Love Your Inland Bays Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 30.
The special event is from 6 to 9 p.m. at Irish Eyes restaurant in Lewes.
The event includes dinner, cash bar, entertainment, door prizes and a raffle for an inland bays quilt.
At noon on a blustery October Sunday, Lewes Beach came to life with the electronic sounds of beeping, the clatter of stones on metal and laughter.
The Mason Dixon Treasure Club, about 20 strong, gathered for its semi-annual beach hunt. Most of the members are from Delaware, but some come from as far away as Pennsylvania. The “field” was a small section of beach, designated by flags, in which “regular” coins were buried (or “seeded,” in treasure-hunt parlance), as well as some color-coded tokens and costume jewelry that could be turned in at the end of the day for prizes.
Club Secretary Janet Marvel of Clarksville, who founded the club with her husband, Paul, 40 years ago, watched from the sidelines. Since Marvel herself seeded the field, she knows when each hunter is about to hit on one of the prizes. The secret to successful placing of “treasure” for the hunts, according to Marvel, is all in the wrist.
“You just whip it,” she said, demonstrating the necessary action.