It's time, once again, to celebrate all things Dover with the annual family-friendly festival that highlights history and celebrates the charm of the city. Dover Days, known as a commemoration of old, treasured traditions with colonial costumes, civil war reenactments, parades, and tours is three jam-packed days of free events, fun activities, and edutainment opportunities.
1 A history in pictures
1:30 p.m., Saturday, May 5, Delaware Public Archives
The Delaware Public Archives will host its annual behind-the-scenes tour, giving people a rare opportunity to see what the archives have and see how they preserve and protect the documents and photographs that tell the stories that make up Delaware.
The tour, scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Saturday, May 5 is free to the public and no reservation is required. Pay close attention, though, and you might see remnants of your own family history. That's because everyone who was born, married, or attended school in Delaware eventually makes it into the Delaware Public Archives. Along with the tour, expect to see a series of photographs in the lobby that highlight the capital city from the early to mid-twentieth century.
However, a special part of this year's tour will include a viewing of the Delaware Bill of Rights, which is on display through July 2.
Archives Director Stephen M. Marz noted that many people are surprised by the amount of documents and photographs stored at the facility.
"Because the Delaware Public Archives serves as the official government repository for state, county, and local government records, the Archives is well known as a valuable resource for researches, genealogists, and historians," Marz said.
2 Corn hole Competition
11 a,m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 5, Legislative Mall
Prepare your pitching arm because the Delaware Lottery is once again sponsoring a Corn hole tournament for all those bean bag throwing experts out there. Pre-registration will not be required. However, this is not one of the free events. The cost is $30 per team and cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winners.
3 Recording history, artistically
Plein Air Paint Out
11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, May 6, The Green
New this year is the Plein Air Paint Out planned for Sunday on The Green. Plein Air paining refers to artists paining on-site. So, expect to see lots of canvases and paintbrushes. The public is invited to attend so some unsuspecting observers could turn into the observed when they wind up in an artist's work.
This isn't all just for kicks, though. There's money and notoriety on the line. First place will receive $350 in cash and prizes. There will also be prizes for second and third place as well as artists' choice and people's choice.
Page 2 of 2 - Dover Days Event Coordinator Lorraine Dion said that participating artists can also expect to see their work displayed in a public exhibition at the Dover Art League on Friday, June 1 during First Friday.
"We are thrilled to be adding this new activity to Dover Days, " Dion said. "Artists will be painting on The Green and in Dover's beautiful historic district."
4 Kids Zone
All day, Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6, Legislative Avenue
Children of all ages will have plenty to keep them busy at the Kids Zone. Expect to see carnival rides, inflatables, a rock wall and bungee jumping. The First State LEGO User' s Group will also be on hand with demonstrations and "wacky car" building. Or, walk on over to William Penn St. for a sand castle building demonstration with award-winning castle builders Andy West and Darrell O'Connor.
5 Music for your ears. Literally.
Dover Days Pops Concert
7 p.m., Saturday, May 5
The Dover Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Donal Buxton, will present the "Spirit of America" at the Calvary Assembly of God. Selections include "Fanfare for the Common Man", "Mr. Holland's Opus," and a number of patriotic selections by American composters.
Admission is between $15 and $20. However, children under 16 get in free with a paying adult.