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Dustin Oldfather & Mariya Oldfather

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Explore the History of Coastal Delaware at These 10 Fabulous Sites

by Dustin Oldfather & Mariya Oldfather

Dating back to the early years of the 17th century, there is plenty of history within the confines of Delaware's southernmost and oldest county. From when the Dutch first settled here in 1631, through the British colonization and into the American Revolution, Sussex County has always played a vital role, thanks in part to it's location along the eastern seaboard.

From old churches, to historic lighthouses, to monuments and buildings that have stood the test of time, there is plenty to see and do in southern Delaware for the history lover in all of us. Once again, we are discussing our Top Ten, but there are many more than just 10 sites in Sussex County to see and explore.

As a side note, we're not including any of southern Delaware's impressive museums on the list. We will tackle those at another time.

Now, here are our favorite historic sites in Sussex County, in no particular order:

1. Fenwick Island Lighthouse (Fenwick Island). There have been many lighthouses that have protected the coastal waters of Sussex County over the years, including the still standing Fenwick Island Lighthouse in the very southeast quadrant of the county. Build in 1858, the 89-foot lighthouse for years warned ships away from the Fenwick Shoal. Operated through the years by whale oil and kerosene, the light today runs solely on electricity. It is owned by the state of Delaware and is maintained by the New Friends of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse. While not Sussex County's only standing lighthouse, it is easily the most accessible. Check it out!

2. Cradling of a State Monument (Lewes). Marking the moment when Dutch settlers first arrived in present-day Sussex County in 1631, this monument on Pilottown Road sits on what is believed to be the spot of their original whaling colony. The original Swanendael settlement, later renamed Zwaanendael and, eventually, Lewes, remains the first recorded attempt at settlement by Europeans in present-day Sussex County. Swanendael, which translates to “valley of the swans” in Dutch, was settled when 28 pioneering men sailed the Atlantic Ocean from Holland. Their goal was to establish a colony near the mouth of what explorer Henry Hudson had dubbed the South River ― the Delaware Bay ― upon discovering the area in 1609. As for Delaware history, the inscription on the monument says it all: “Here was the cradling of a state.” As a side note, if not for this colony, what is today coastal Sussex County would instead rest in the state of Maryland. But, that's a story for another day.

3. Anna Hazzard Tent (Rehoboth Beach). This camp meeting era building houses exhibits relating to the early history of Rehoboth Beach as a religious retreat. Anna Hazzard was a civic leader and former owner of the building. The “tent,” as they were called in the day, resembles a camp meeting site from the 1890s, complete with artifacts and memorabilia from that time.

4. Sussex County Courthouse (Georgetown). Driving through Georgetown toward the beach, you can't help but notice the towering courthouse structure resting on the southeastern edge of The Circle. Designed by renowned architect William Strickland, the courthouse was built between 1837 and 1839 on the same location as the original courthouse, which is now a museum just about a block away. The portico and cupola were added in 1914.

5. Lightship Overfalls (Lewes). Now resting in Lewes, the Overfalls is one of only 17 remaining lightships out of a total of 179 built from 1820 to 1952. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011, it is one of seven lightships in the United States still open to the public. It has been painstakingly restored by a group of volunteers affectionately referred to as the “Dirty Hands Gang,” and today proudly rests on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. Tours are available of the ship and make for a special day in coastal Delaware.

6. Confederate Monument (Georgetown). As southern Delaware rests literally on top of the Mason-Dixon Line, it's no great surprise that many Sussex Countians sided with the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. To recognize the sacrifices made by it's soldiers, the state's first and only Confederate monument was unveiled on the grounds of the Marvel Museum in May of 2007. The monument features the names of more than 70 Delawareans who fought in Southern armies during the War Between the States, or those who supported the Confederate war effort. There are two flag poles which flank each side of the monument, one flying the Delaware state flag and the other flying the flag of the Confederacy. The monument was a joint effort of the “Delaware Grays” Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Georgetown Historical Society.

7. Prince George's Chapel (Dagsboro). The more than 250-year-old chapel was constructed in 1757 on the south side of Pepper Creek in present day Dagsboro. It was erected as a so-called “chapel of ease” for St. Martin’s Church, which still stands in Showell, Md., about 11 miles south of Dagsboro. Named for the English prince who would later become King George III, the chapel has been completely restored to resemble its original 18th-century appearance. It is owned by the state of Delaware and maintained by a committed group of volunteers.

8. Indian River Lifesaving Station (Bethany Beach). The Indian River Lifesaving Station was built in 1876 and is the oldest lifesaving station still in its original location on the east coast of the United States. One of the first stations designed by the federal government, it remained open until the famed nor’easter of 1962 filled it with several feet of sand. The Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation took over the task of restoring the station many years later with the goal of returning it to its 1905 appearance. They accomplished that goal and reopened the historic building in 1998. This is a fascinating tour for every member of the family and is highly recommended.

9. Mason-Dixon Midpoint Marker (Delmar). Nearly 250 years ago, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon created the most famous boundary in what would soon be the United States of America. And they started in a remote area of the Delmarva Peninsula, setting markers that became the midpoint of their historically important work. Today, those markers sit in an unassuming field just west of Delmar, in a rudimentary enclosure just off of Route 54. If you didn’t know it was there, and most people don’t, you would drive right past it without even stopping. Yet, the significance of the midpoint markers (so named because they are placed at the halfway point between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay) of the Mason-Dixon Line has not been lost to history. It's worth the drive, if for no other reason than to say you were there.

10. Fort Miles (Lewes). The massive coastal fortification known as Fort Miles was built in 1941 to defend Philadelphia, as well as oil refineries and other assets along the Delaware River and Bay, from the German Navy during World War II. After the war came to an end, Fort Miles stood down and the fort’s heavy guns were eventually dismantled. Eventually, the fort became part of Cape Henlopen State Park and is today overseen by the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, which has helped restore and maintain the fort with the help of a dedicated group of volunteers. Highlights of a trip to Fort Miles include a tour of Battery 519 and a climb up the nearby fire control tower.

Ten Coastal Delaware Festivals You Must Attend. Check Them Out!

by Dustin Oldfather & Mariya Oldfather

Coastal Delaware is well known for many things, and fun, family-friendly annual events is certainly one of them. While there are countless happenings in the area each and every year, in this blog entry we're focusing on annual events that attract people from the entire region and provide a fun experience for all.

These are in no particular order, but they are our 10 favorites. So get out there and enjoy some of these events that help define life at the Delaware beaches.

Let's take a look:

1. Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddler's Festival (Rehoboth Beach). This family-friendly event takes place on the weekend before Halloween and features, as the name implies, plenty of fiddlers and witches and all things spooky. Featuring games on the beach, a multitude of local vendors, a pet parade, a hunt for the sea witch and highlighted by a spectacular “anyone can join” parade down Rehoboth Avenue complete with oversized helium-filled balloons, this event is organized by the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce and is one that is not to be missed. It's a great family event in the “Nation's Summer Capital!”


2. Return Day (Georgetown). This is the only event on our list that is not held every year, but is rather a biennial festival held every even numbered year on the Thursday after Election Day. Unique to Sussex County, this Colonial-themed event features a traditional ox roast on The Circle, an abundance of entertainment on two separate stages, the county's longest parade where winners and losers of local elections traditionally ride together, the reading of the election results by the Town Crier and a ceremonial “burying of the hatchet” where the leaders of all local political parties symbolize that the election is over and it's now time to work together for the betterment of the county and the state. This is an event that everyone should attend at least once, and one that exemplifies the uniqueness that is the state of Delaware.


3. Hispanic Festival (Millsboro). Growing in size every year and held at the Millsboro Little League complex, this event highlights Sussex County's burgeoning Hispanic community and features an abundance of latin delicacies to sample, as well as day-long entertainment on stage, plenty of local vendors and lots of other surprises. For a unique taste of the area's latin culture, this is a great, family-friendly event to check out.


4. Great Delaware Kite Festival (Lewes). Held every year on Good Friday, this event at Cape Henlopen State Park is a fun time for the entire family. Join one of the several age-specific competitions, or just bring your kite for a fun day near the Atlantic Ocean. A highlight of the festival is the demonstration by professional flyers, who do amazing tricks with their kites set to music. The event is sponsored and organized by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce and has grown in popularity every year.

5. World Championship Punkin Chunkin (TBD). As of this writing, the location of Punkin Chunkin is up in the air, but it's always been held in Sussex County and we hope it will continue to be, so we are including it here on our list. Started a couple of decades ago with a few local men who got together to hurl their Halloween pumpkins by hand, this event has skyrocketed to fame in recent years and is now covered by national and even international media. Featuring air cannons that can now hurl the orange gourds nearly a mile across the field, this three-day event draws tens of thousands of spectators and dozens of competitors all vying for the title of “World Champion Punkin Chunker.” This is a one-of-a-kind event that you should really check out at least once; it's a day you won't soon forget, trust us!

6. Apple-Scrapple (Bridgeville). Where else in the world can you go to watch mayors from neighboring towns compete in a contest involving hurled projectiles of packaged meat products? Probably nowhere else than good old Sussex County. The Apple Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville has become a big autumn festival in the western reaches of the county, but in recent years visitors from throughout the county, the state and the region have frequented this unique, Sussex County event. The festival is built around the two products the town is known for – apples from T.S. Smith and scrapple from RAPA Scrapple. This event has been named one of the top festivals in the country by national publications and is one you should definitely check out.


7. Nanticoke Indian Powwow (Oak Orchard). Held every year on the weekend after Labor Day, the Nanticoke Indian Powwow is one of the more popular and widely-attended events in Sussex County. Though the gatherings date back many decades, the powwow, in its current form, has become a major festival in southern Delaware since its rebirth in the late 1970s. Today, thousands of people come from the First State and several neighboring states to enjoy two days of music, dancing, fellowship and culture. It is also the major fundraiser for the Nanticoke Indian Association ― money raised at the event goes to support the tribe in many ways, including maintenance of their museum. It's a great event and is guaranteed fun for the entire family.


8. Polar Bear Plunge (Rehoboth Beach). Now this is a crazy one that you have to see to believe. Every year on the first Sunday in February (also Super Bowl Sunday most years), several hundred people get dressed up in crazy outfits and head to the beach in Rehoboth, where they decide that it's a good day for a swim in the frigid waters and run en masse into Mother Ocean. The major fundraiser for Special Olympics Delaware, this event draws thousands of people to the beach in the dead of winter and is a sight to behold.


9. Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass Festival (Lewes). Featuring nearly 100 sea glass artists, decoy carvers, waterfowl artists and much more, this event that is just a few years old is now drawing thousands of festival goers each June to the Lewes Historical Society complex on Shipcarpenter Street. You will find some of the world's most unique pieces of jewelry here and also have a chance to learn all about the unique art of collecting and transforming sea glass into works of art. A fun event for everyone!

10. Autumn Jazz Festival (Rehoboth Beach). The Rehoboth Beach Autumn Jazz Festival continues to grow more diversified each year, encompassing traditional and contemporary sounds as well as the heritage-side of Jazz music. Some big names have played in Rehoboth in past years, including the Neville Brothers, Cintron, Al Green and even Queen Latifah, putting the festival on the map and bringing more jazz lovers to the beach each year. This four-day event is held every year in October and takes place in several venues around the resort.


Weekend Happenings in Coastal Delaware (August 1-3)

by Dustin Oldfather & Mariya Oldfather

If you see a few extra foreigners in and around town over the next two weeks, well it's because the world has once again come to coastal Delaware – literally! Every year since 2004, the Lower Sussex Little League in Roxana has hosted the Senior League World Series softball tournament, one of just eight world series events organized by Little League International. And two years ago, officials added the Big League World Series to the mix, so now one-quarter of all Little League world events are held at the Delaware beaches, adding millions to the local economy during it's 10-day annual run.

Read all about this huge event for our area, as well as a few other fun and family-friendly happenings this weekend at the Delaware beaches, in this edition of the “Weekender Blog,” brought to you by the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty in Rehoboth Beach.

Check out this week's selections here:

  • Softball World Series (Aug. 1-10). These two events, run simultaneously at the Lower Sussex Little League complex in Roxana, feature teams from all throughout the United States, as well as Latin America, Canada, Asia and Europe. It is the final destination for teenage girls who play throughout the summer for a chance to participate in their respective World Series events. This is a site to behold and the final three games of each tournament (six in total) are televised on the ESPN television network. Visit www.seniorsoftballws.org/ for more information.

  • 37th Annual Sandcastle Contest (Aug. 1). Always a good time for the entire family, this year's sandcastle contest in Rehoboth Beach is sure to be yet another fan favorite. So grab your shovel and join in the fun, or just sit back and watch as expert crafters turn beach sand into true works of art. This year's event begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, with more than 800 participants expected for the competition.. Visit www.beach-fun.com for more information on this fun event for the entire family.

  • 5th Annual Dewey Beach Scavenger Hunt (Aug. 1). For something a little different this weekend, join in the fun in Dewey Beach as dozens of residents and visitors alike take to the streets in search of hard-to-find items on the quest for prizes and personal glory. The scavenger hunt is set to run from 2 to 6 p.m. (registration is from 12-2) with prizes awarded beginning at 6. Visit HERE for more information on this fun annual event.

  • Celtic Rock Band Concert (Aug. 1). Coastal Delaware has no shortage of concerts and outdoor events during the warm weather months, but this weekend's concert at Cape Henlopen State Park is a little different than most. Featuring the popular “American Rogues,” the event begins at 7 p.m. on the park's parade field and promises a unique, multi-instrumental sound that includes traditional and original rock and pop songs, film soundtrack music and Irish-based foot-stompers. For more information, visit www.destateparks.com/programs/.

  • Movie Night on the Beach (Aug. 3). Held every Monday night during the season, these family-friendly movies are fun for everyone. Bring your family, a blanket, and some popcorn to the beach for family movie night! Movies will start at approximately 8:30 p.m. on the beach at Dagsworthy Street in Dewey Beach and Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach. This week's selections are "Annie" (Dewey Beach) and "Big Hero 6" (Bethany Beach).

These are just a few of this weekend’s fun-filled events here in coastal Delaware. For more ideas on what you can do with your friends and/or family, contact your local chamber of commerce or town hall.

And be on the lookout again next week for more great ideas from the Oldfather Group. Now get out there and enjoy all the things that make living at the Delaware beaches such a wonderful experience!

Weekend Happenings in Coastal Delaware

by Dustin Oldfather & Mariya Oldfather

During the warm weather months, there are always plenty of things to do at the Delaware beaches. From fun on the boardwalk, to eating at locally owned restaurants, to frolicking on the beach and even enjoying a good show or two, there's never a dull moment - unless you want there to be, of course.

But there are also plenty of local festivals and events to attend and enjoy, especially during the annual “festival season.”

For the next few days, the main show in town, so to speak, is taking place a few miles up north along the old DuPont Highway, known as Del. Route 13 to the younger generation. The 96th annual Delaware State Fair kicked off on Thursday, July 23, for it's yearly 10-day run, with record crowds expected once again for the annual event.

Read more about this year's fair below, as well as a few other coastal Delaware happenings this weekend, courtesy of this week's Weekender Blog,” brought to you by the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty.

  • 96th Annual Delaware State Fair (July 23-August 1). For nearly a century, the Delaware State Fair has been a tradition for locals and visitors alike. Located in the town of Harrington, the fair offers fun for the whole family. From exciting rides, to wonderful food and great entertainment, the fair always has something for everyone and is a tradition worth enjoying when living in, or paying a visit to, the First State. For more information, visit www.delawarestatefair.com.

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  • Milton Architecture Walking Tour (July 25). Step out on the Milton Architecture Walking Tour and learn about the town's rich heritage at the "Head of the Broadkill," where 198 structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This walking tour reveals the town's early history and introduces you to the ship captains and seafaring men of early Milton. The Milton Architecture Tours begin at the Milton Historical Society. Sturdy, closed-toe walking shoes are required.Visit www.historicmilton.org for more information.

  • 7th Annual Seafood and Arts Festival (July 25). With live music and more than 60 vendors, there is much to see and do this weekend at the Indian River Marina, located at Delaware Seashore State Park. Snack on scallop skewers, crab cakes and more at this enjoyable summer event. Bring the kids along to participate in games and activities while you browse through the stands of local vendors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Historic Lewes Farmers' Market (July 25). There are plenty of good farmers' markets in the area this time of year, and we're not endorsing one over the many others. But we thought we'd take a moment this week to feature the Historic Lewes Farmers' Market, held each Saturday at the Lewes Historic Society complex at the end of Second Street in downtown Lewes. The winner of many awards and consistently named one of the best farmers' markets in the region, the Historic Lewes Farmers' Market is your home for fresh vegetables, home-baked goodies and many other delicacies. Check it out! Visit www.historiclewesfarmersmarket.org for more information.

  • Movie Night on the Beach (July 27). Held every Monday night during the season, these family-friendly movies are fun for everyone. Bring your family, a blanket, and some popcorn to the beach for family movie night! Movies will start at approximately 8:30 p.m. on the beach at Dagsworthy Street in Dewey Beach and Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach. This week's selections are "The Goonies" (Dewey Beach) and "Madeline" (Bethany Beach).

These are just a few of this weekend’s fun-filled events here in coastal Delaware. For more ideas on what you can do with your friends and/or family, contact your local chamber of commerce or town hall.

And be on the lookout again next week for more great ideas from the Oldfather Group. Now get out there and enjoy all the things that make living at the Delaware beaches such a wonderful experience!

 

Weekend Happenings in Coastal Delaware

by Dustin Oldfather & Mariya Oldfather

With the state gearing up for the annual Delaware State Fair next week in Harrington, this week's festivals and events are a tad on the light side. But don't worry, there's still plenty of fun things to do here at the Delaware beaches, no matter the date on the calendar.

The highlight this weekend is an annual festival honoring the area's rich maritime heritage, but there are also movies on the beach to enjoy, a walking tour of historic Milton and several other options for residents of, as well as visitors to, the beautiful Delaware beaches.

Check out some of this weekend's festivities below, courtesy of the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty.

  • Fifth Annual Maritime Heritage Festival (July 19). Delaware Seashore State Park will host the Fifth Annual Maritime Heritage Festival from 12 to 4 p.m. this Sunday. Families will experience the rich history of the Delaware coast through crafts, games, prizes, food, music and demonstrations throughout the day. The highlight of the event will be the Breeches Buoy rescue demonstration complete with live cannon fire using a historic Lyle gun. For more information, call the Indian River Life-Saving Station at Delaware Seashore State Park at 302-227-6991.​​

  • Boats, Buttons, Beans & Beer Walking Tour (July 18). The town named for poet John Milton certainly has a rich history, and this walking tour (which begins at the Dogfish Head Brewery Steampunk Treehouse at 9:30) will highlight some of what has made Milton what it is today. The four B’s (boats, buttons, beans and later beer) have all played vital roles in this history. Explore button sheds, barns and outbuildings, before concluding your day with a tour and tasting at Dogfish Head Brewery.

  • History Happened Here: Cape Water Taxi Cruise (July 20). Join a knowledgeable Lewes Historical Society guide on board the Cape Water Taxi for a cruise along the Lewes Canal. Journey back in time into Lewes’s maritime past through the centuries. Learn of the explorers who first put Cape Henlopen on the map, recall the pirates that sailed the same local waters you'll travel upon and come to understand the difficulties in navigating the Cape's often treacherous waters.Visit HERE for more information.

  • Eating Rehoboth Walking Food Tour (July 19). Embark on a three-hour culinary adventure through historic downtown Rehoboth Beach, where you will enjoy exclusive food and beverage tastings at five of the resort's best eateries. The tours feature a different set of restaurants and shops each day. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.eatingrehoboth.com.

  • Movie Night on the Beach (July 20). Held every Monday night during the season, these family-friendly movies are fun for everyone. Bring your family, a blanket, and some popcorn to the beach for family movie night! Movies will start at approximately 8:30 p.m. on the beach at Dagsworthy Street in Dewey Beach and Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach. This week's selections are "Big Hero" (Dewey Beach) and "Sleeping Beauty" (Bethany Beach).

These are just a few of this weekend’s fun-filled events here in coastal Delaware. For more ideas on what you can do with your friends and/or family, contact your local chamber of commerce or town hall.

And be on the lookout again next week for more great ideas from the Oldfather Group. Now get out there and enjoy all the things that make living at the Delaware beaches such a wonderful experience!

Weekend Happenings in Coastal Delaware

by Dustin Oldfather & Mariya Oldfather

While the summer and fall seasons here in coastal Delaware are filled with plenty of fun-filled and family events, this weekend perhaps epitomizes just how varied these annual happenings can be.

For this first weekend after Independence Day, there are many different yet enjoyable events planned for in and around the Delaware beaches. From a celebration of the historic Nanticoke River in Seaford, to a sandcastle contest at Delaware Seashore State Park and even an event in Dewey Beach that is, well difficult to describe, we have a little bit of everything for you this week in our “Weekender Blog,” brought to you by the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty.

Check out some of this weekend's festivities below:

  • Nanticoke Riverfest (July 10-11). Planned for this Friday and Saturday, the Nanticoke Riverfest is a community festival that celebrates the historic Nanticoke River and the revitalized downtown district of Seaford. The event features live entertainment, craft and food vendors, a pageant, children's activities, an art showcase and classic car and motorcycle shows. River-orientated activities include an hour-long inner tube "Float-In," canoe and kayak races, a duck-calling competition, a "Duck Dash" rubber-duck race on the river, a "Mayor's Challenge" competition and cultural performances. Visit www.nanticokeriverfest.com for more information.

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  • 19th Annual Running of the Bull (July 11). On the Saturday that falls between July 7 and July 13 (when the Festival of San Fermin is held in Pamplona, Spain) people of various states of mind gather at The Starboard in Dewey Beach each year to Run with the Bull.” With some attendees dressed in the traditional Pamplona white clothing and red bandanas - and others dressed in regular beach attire - the bull runners meet at the Starboard in the early morning hours, where they enjoy beverages, loud music and general pre-run festivities. The “Run” officially begins at 2 p.m. Click HERE for more information.

  • 35th Annual Sandcastle Contest (July 11). Scheduled for Saturday at Delaware Seashore State Park, this contest is free to enter with great prizes awarded at the end of the day. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. Each team can have up to five people and the judging will begin at 1 p.m. Admission to this event is free, but park entry fees remain in effect. For more information, call the Indian River Life-Saving Station at Delaware Seashore State Park at 302-227-6991.

  • Antique Fire Truck Show (July 11). The antique fire truck show, sponsored by the Georgetown Historical Society, is scheduled for this Saturday at the Marvel Carriage Museum. Many Sussex County communities will send antique trucks for the event, with the oldest motorized vehicles coming from Laurel, Georgetown, Seaford and Greenwood. Click HERE for more information.

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  • Movie Night on the Beach (July 13). Held every Monday night during the season, these family-friendly movies are fun for everyone. Bring your family, a blanket, and some popcorn to the beach for family movie night! Movies will start at approximately 8:30 p.m. on the beach at Dagsworthy Street in Dewey Beach and Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach. This week's selections are "The Little Rascals" (Dewey Beach) and "Earth to Echo" (Bethany Beach).

These are just a few of this weekend’s fun-filled events here in coastal Delaware. For more ideas on what you can do with your friends and/or family, contact your local chamber of commerce or town hall.

And be on the lookout again next week for more great ideas from the Oldfather Group. Now get out there and enjoy all the things that make living at the Delaware beaches such a wonderful experience!

Sussex Continues to Expand and Grow

by Dustin Oldfather & Mariya Oldfather

Perhaps you saw the recent story in the Wilmington News Journal about Sussex County continuing to outpace the state's other two counties in terms of it's growth rate? While it didn't come as a surprise to us, it did to many who felt that the urban areas in and around Wilmington would give New Castle that distinction.

But it's the southern part of the state that continues to grow at rapid levels, and the biggest reasons are our 26 miles of fabulous Atlantic coastline and the premier beach resorts that today define southern Delaware.

Between 2010 and 2014, according to the United States Census Bureau, Sussex County grew at a rate of nearly 7 percent. People are continuing to find our little area of the world, which is a big reason why the real estate market here has been on the upswing for several consecutive years now.

A big part of the population explosion is due to the Baby Boomers, who are all retiring now and finding that a life near the ocean, especially with the tax benefits that Delaware affords, is an attractive scenario for them.

The location doesn't hurt either – many retirees are from the surrounding states and can easily visit their friends and loved ones for the day and then return home to coastal Delaware in the evening.

Of particular interest in the News Journal piece, at least to us, was the interview they did with William McCain, a real estate consultant based just over the state line in Salisbury. He cited the county's “large and growing stock of new homes on the market” as a big reason for southern Delaware's population growth.

We definitely see this as the case as well. And not only are our selections growing, as many who were sitting on the sidelines during the economic downturn are now putting their homes on the market, but the variety of these homes has also become much greater.

In our inventory alone, we have beach homes, and retirement community homes and single family homes. We even have a circular home and a former inn and tavern for sale.

Again according to the Census bureau, Sussex County's population in 2014 was just a little less than 211,000, up more than 13,000 since 2010. People are continuing to find us, and as long as our taxes remain low and Mother Ocean remains as our eastern border, that's not going to change.

We welcome all of our newcomers here to southern Delaware with open arms. If you're here and you want to stay, but you don't have a permanent residence yet, give us a ring and let us show you around.

This is, after all, what many of us call “God's Country” and we'd love to introduce you to the many benefits that a life at the Delaware beaches can afford. It's the fastest growing area of the state for many reasons – and we're here to show you all of them!

Enjoy the rest of your summer everyone!


Weekend Happenings in Coastal Delaware

by Dustin Oldfather & Mariya Oldfather

This weekend in southern Delaware, it's all about the red, the white and the blue as the area's beach towns celebrate the founding of our nation in grand style. So whether you're sitting on the beach, or on a boat in the ocean, or even taking in an Independence Day festival that's a short distance from the coast, there's something for you and your family to enjoy this Fourth of July weekend.

Read this week's “Weekender Blog” below to see where and when to partake in the festivities planned for this holiday weekend. And be sure to check back again next week as we continue to keep you informed on the summertime goings on in and around the Delaware beaches.

Now here are a few of our favorite events planned for this weekend:

  • Independence Day in Bethany Beach (July 4). Beginning at noon with a “Let Freedom Ring” themed parade through the resort town that will feature marching bands and plenty of local entertainment, the Independence Day celebration in Bethany is one you don't want to miss. There will also be family-friendly events throughout the day and a fireworks display at dusk, followed by music from the Vigilantes.

  • Fourth of July Festival in Laurel (July 4). Enjoy small town charm in Laurel on Saturday, July 4, at one of the area's largest Independence Day celebrations. Start the day off with a carnival at 10:30 a.m., followed by a cornhole tournament, pie-eating contest, vendors and a spectacular fireworks display in the evening. For more information, visit www.townoflaurel.net.


  • Fireworks in Dewey Beach (July 4). Enjoy a professional fireworks display over the Rehoboth Bay starting at approximately 9 p.m. on Saturday July 4. The fireworks will be set off from a barge in the middle of the bay and will be visible from any bar or restaurant along the bayside in Dewey.

  • Lewes' Old Fashioned 4th of July (July 4)Continuing a long tradition, the City of Lewes will be holding it's old fashioned July 4 festivities again this year. Including children's games on historic Second Street, the fabulous and always memorable boat parade on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and the popular and definitely different Doo-Dah Parade, this is an event you don't want to miss. Visit the Lewes Chamber of Commerce for more information.


  • Fireworks in Rehoboth (July 5). On Sunday, July 5, an always spectacular fireworks display will be launched from the beach and visible up and down the boardwalk and shoreline. Fireworks time is approximately 9:15 p.m.


These are just a few of this weekend’s fun-filled events here in coastal Delaware. For more ideas on what you can do with your friends and/or family, contact your local chamber of commerce or town hall.

And be on the lookout again next week for more great ideas from the Oldfather Group. Now get out there and enjoy all the things that make living at the Delaware beaches such a wonderful experience!

Weekend Happenings in Coastal Delaware

by Dustin Oldfather & Mariya Oldfather

This weekend, the 2015 festival season really kicks into high gear as the first major event of the summer takes place in Lewes – the annual Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival. This is definitely the highlight for the final weekend of June, but it's certainly not the only fun and exciting thing to do here at the Delaware beaches.

And we've definitely got you covered here in our weekly "Weekender Blog," brought to you by the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty.

So take a few minutes and read about some of the happenings scheduled for this weekend at and near the Delaware beaches. And then get out there and have some fun!

Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival (June 27-28). The 2015 Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival will be held on Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28, at the Lewes Historic Complex on Shipcarpenter Street. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the festival is $5 per person, per day for adults, and children under 12 are free. Last year, the festival attracted more than 5,500 visitors and the 2015 festival will feature more than 70 sea glass artists, decoy carvers, waterfowl artists and much more. For more information, visit www.historiclewes.org.

Breeches Buoy Rescue Drill (June 27). Come experience the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum’s premier program. Watch park staff and active duty Coast Guardsmen reenact the breeches buoy, a system that allowed surfmen to rescue shipwreck victims from shore. Demonstration includes firing the Lyle gun, a small cannon and a rescue from the “wreck pole." Cost is $6.50 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and $4 for children ages 6-12. Children age five and under are free. For more information, visit HERE.

 

Kids’ Catch-All Fishing Tournament (June 26-28). The Second Annual “Kids Catch-All Tournament” will be held June 26-28 at the Indian River Marina. This year will feature two days of fishing for children ages 3 to 18. Games, fun and dinner is scheduled to end the first day of fishing and a cookout and awards ceremony concludes the final day of fishing. For additional information or questions, call 302-227-3071.

Paddle Second Chance (June 27-28). Paddle Second Chance will again raise funds for Operation Second Chances this weekend, with the race/festival scheduled for Saturday June 28, and the main race day slated for Sunday June 29, at Holts Landing State Park in Millville. The main event will be a five mile course for experienced paddlers, as well as a two-and-a-half mile run for beginners. Sunday will wrap up with an awards ceremony and community picnic for everyone in attendance. For more information, visit www.delmarvaboardsportadventures.com.

 

Movie Night on the Beach (June 29). Held every Monday night during the season, these family-friendly movies are fun for everyone. Bring your family, a blanket, and some popcorn to the beach for family movie night! Movies will start at approximately 8:30 p.m. on the beach at Dagsworthy Street in Dewey Beach and Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach. This week's selections are "The Box Trolls" (Dewey Beach) and "Paddington" (Bethany Beach).

 

These are just a few of this weekend’s fun-filled events here in coastal Delaware. For more ideas on what you can do with your friends and/or family, contact your local chamber of commerce or town hall.

And be on the lookout again next week for more great ideas from the Oldfather Group. Now get out there and enjoy all the things that make living at the Delaware beaches such a wonderful experience!

Weekend Happenings in Coastal Delaware

by Dustin Oldfather & Mariya Oldfather

Believe it or not, June is already more than halfway over and the traditional summer season is in full swing, as I'm sure you've all noticed by the skyrocketing thermometer readings in the last few days.

But don't let the warm weather stop you! Get out there this weekend and enjoy all that coastal Delaware has to offer! There's plenty of fun things going on, including a few of our favorites that we've listed below.

Pick a couple and check them out, and don't forget to watch every week for our Weekender Blog” to keep up to date on all the fun and exciting events going on at or near the Delaware beaches.

  • Selbyville Old Timer's Day (June 20). After a year's hiatus, this popular classic car, truck, tractor, military and emergency vehicle show returns to Selbyville, where the event has been a tradition for nearly six decades.The occasion also features door prizes, food, vendors, live classic country and rock entertainment from the Bo Dickerson Band and children’s activities, including crafts, pony rides, a moon bounce and an obstacle course. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, click HERE.​

  • Chautauqua Festival in Lewes (June 21-25). A unique mixture of education and entertainment, the main event of Lewes’ Chautauqua Festival will be held under a large tent and will feature re-enactors who take on the personas of celebrated historical figures, educating and entertaining audiences as they bring the past to life. The 17th annual event, this year entitled “Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past,” will also take place at a variety of downtown Lewes locations from June 21 to 25. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148 or visit the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Website


  • 25th Annual Lewes Garden Tour (June 20). Self-guided tour of private gardens in the historic town of Lewes. Complementary activities include a market with vendors specializing in garden related retail items, a free lecture on a gardening related topic and working artists in the gardens.There will also be a food tent in the park. For more information, visit www.leweschamber.com.

  • DeBraak Shipwreck Tour/Lecture (June 22). For the history lovers among us, there are still a limited number of reservations available for the lecture and tour of the hull of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, a British warship that capsized and was lost off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. All programs begin at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, where a lecture on the ship will be presented in conjunction with the exhibit “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Attendees will then be transported, via van, to the DeBraak hull facility in nearby Cape Henlopen State Park for a tour of the surviving section of the ship’s hull. Tours are limited to 12 visitors per program and will take place at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday, June 22.

  • Movie Night on the Beach (June 22). Held every Monday night during the season, these family-friendly movies are fun for everyone. Bring your family, a blanket, and some popcorn to the beach for family movie night! Movies will start at approximately 8:30 p.m. on the beach at Dagsworthy Street in Dewey Beach and Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach. This week's selections are "The Lego Movie" (Dewey Beach) and "Curious George" (Bethany Beach).

These are just a few of this weekend’s fun-filled events here in coastal Delaware. For more ideas on what you can do with your friends and/or family, contact your local chamber of commerce or town hall.

And be on the lookout again next week for more great ideas from the Oldfather Group. Now get out there and enjoy all the things that make living at the Delaware beaches such a wonderful experience!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 65

Contact Information

Dustin & Mariya Oldfather, The Oldfather Group
Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's Internation Realty 302.22
330 Rehoboth Avenue
Rehoboth Beach DE 19971
302.249.5899
302.227.6767 x 211

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