Parade begins at 8:45 a.m. from Everett Meredith Middle School on Broad Streets. After the parade, events continue throughout the day at various sites in downtown Middletown
Here are the events planned for the 25th annual Middletown Olde-Tyme Peach Festival Saturday, Aug. 18, presented by the Middletown Historical Society. As always, all activities are free, courtesy of the event’s sponsors and partners.
Parade, Broad and Main streets
The parade on Broad and Main streets begins at 8:45 a.m., at Everett Meredith Middle School on South Broad Street, then heads north to Main Street, and east on Main Street to Catherine Street.
It always includes an exciting variety of bands, antique cars, fire equipment, costumed participants, performing groups, politicians and horses. Among the featured groups will be the marching bands from Appoquinimink and Middletown high schools.
Also returning will be the spectacular and fully costumed Philadelphia Mummers’ Woodland String Band. After the parade, the Woodland Band will appear at Grace Church at 11 a.m. for photo ops and selfies.
Middletown Historical Society Booth at Cochran Square
Volunteers from the Appoquinimink High School Band Boosters will assist in selling peaches, and Peach Festival T-shirts and aprons on Cochran Square at the corner of Main and Broad streets. They will also help with information, directions, and recruiting members. Peaches are available by the piece, bag, or carton.
Middletown Historical Society Museum at the Academy Building, 216 N. Broad St.
In the museum:
The museum offers a great place to cool off, sit down, use the restrooms, purchase baked goods made by the M.O.T. Senior Center, and learn about local history. Downstairs is handicapped accessible, with a ramp leading to the back door.
Two exhibits are featured downstairs. “Reflections of Middletown” shows an interesting collection of depictions of local people through the ages, using various media from daguerreotypes to oil on canvas. The Historical Society has recently added lots of new photos, plus a display of photos from the Peach Festivals through the years in honor of the 25th Peach Festival. Brian Miller will be demonstrating silhouette making in that room. The fascinating World War I exhibit, showing life at the front and at home 100 years ago, has been expanded with more sensory experiences, as 2018 marks the centennial of the Armistice of World War I.
Upstairs the museum has opened a new art exhibit called “Middletown Mixed Media: Artists Past and Present” which features 25 works of art in various media, from sculpture to water color to stained glass. The artists all had some connection to the Middletown area. A few were professionals.
Also upstairs, the “Living Together” exhibit has been expanded and now includes an exhibit of artifacts found by Del DOT archaeologists at the Rumsey-Polk tenant house west of town.
The children’s “Please touch” room will be open with old fashioned, unpowered, silent, games and toys.
The Escape Room is a pirate-themed puzzle constructed in a large room. Contestants use clever clues found throughout the two-chambered room to open several locks to gain their freedom. Scramble through the exhibit, hear about the room, and make a reservation to solve the puzzle with your friends. The Escape Room will be open through Halloween, and must be completed in one hour.
(Note: For this year only, the Escape Room takes the place of the museum’s usual peach history display and the history of local education display. Those two exhibits will return next year.)
Hy-Point Dairy Farms, one of the Peach Festival sponsors, has generously given the Historical Society 300 coupons for a free ice cream cone, available while supplies last to museum visitors who come to learn from the displays.
Rear parking lot:
A lot full of free children’s games, inflatables and fun is being provided by Jump on Over, the main Peach Festival sponsor.
Step back in time and take a stroll on the front lawn with the Victorians of Virtue and Valor, who are dressed in attire from the Civil War-era. Meet members of the 5th Delaware Union Regiment Company 1, a persuasive snake oil salesman, and a local politician.
Make a paper puppet and show off your puppeteer skills at the reproduction puppet theatre. Try your hand at shuttlecock and battledore, just one of the fun games played during the 1860s.
The High-Point Dairy Stand – where coupons from the museum for free ice cream may be redeemed – is located near the main door.
Grace Church, 13 Pennington St.
One of the best kept secrets at the Peach Festival features young people from various parts of the country, who will be welcoming guests.
At 11 a.m. the Mummers’ Woodland String Band will appear for a performance, photo ops and selfies. Children should check out “J.P.’s Toy Station” and the bracelet craft table.
Everyone is welcome to drop in for a refreshing bottle of water, or sit and relax in our air-conditioned dining area, along with the comfort station.
Children, big and small should be on the lookout for the Misting Station, in front of the church on Pennington Street. Dogs are welcome to the Misting Station also – just make sure you bring your owner.
The Gibby Center Gallery, 51 W. Main St.
Exhibits and demonstrations will be open. Come in from the heat and enjoy peach cobbler and live music. Lots of top-notched vendors with unique crafts and jewelry are available to visit.
The silent auction fundraiser “Art from the Heart” is featured in the gallery. Help keep the arts alive in Middletown.
Church on Main, 44 W. Main St.
The church will offer a place to cool off in air conditioning while enjoying the peach ice cream for sale. Restrooms will be open.
Connection Community Church, 100 W. Green St., across from the firehouse
Come and enjoy the Popsicle Slide, the Ferris Wheel Combo, and the Carnival 3 in 1 game located outside. Inside find the Bounce Castle and a variety of games including Jenga, Connect 4, Operation, Pluck a Duck, and Megawire.
Enjoy the popcorn, snow cones, ice cold water, clean restrooms, baby changing stations, pet watering station and air-conditioned rest area available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
You won’t want to miss Connection’s 16th and final year participating in the Peach Festival before moving to a new location. All free, all day. Just show up!
Volunteer Hose Company, 27 W. Green St.
The Middletown firefighters will host an open house that will showcase fire safety and best practices. The stunning VHC fire engines and equipment will be displayed along with demonstrations, and information. A comfort station is available.
Boys and Girls Club, Main and Green streets
The Boys and Girls Club will again host an open house at their location near Cochran Square. The family-friendly rooms offer parents and kids a chance to cool off in the air-conditioned building. The club will be partnering with Hair Cuttery again this year.
Stop by and see what is new at the club and how to get ready for the new school year!
A comfort station is available.
M.O.T. Jean Birch Senior Center, 300 S. Scott St.
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Pre-ordered pies may be picked up (must have receipt).
9 a.m. – Doors open for events including sales of gifts, gently used purses and jewelry, jams and jellies, homemade peach pies and peach desserts (get there early). Pies and desserts are also available at the Historical Society Museum on North Broad Street in the Academy building.
11 a.m. – Peach Pie Contest judging begins.
A Car Show will also be held with trophies for Best in Show, People’s Choice, Vintage Antique, Antique and Classic to be awarded by votes of attendees.
3 p.m. – Car Show trophies awarded.
Food Court and music
The Food Court is located near the Town Hall in the Green Street parking lot and in the parking lot of Church on Main, formerly Forest Presbyterian Church.
The Peach Music Café is located on Pennington Street, and the Cochran Square stage is at the corner of Main and Broad streets.
For the schedule of music and dance performers, see page 18 in this Festival Guide for Cochran Square and the Peach Music Café.