Kent County Tourism announced the 85th annual Dover Days Festival, sponsored by WSFS Bank, will take place May 5 with a new footprint to bring an emphasis to downtown Dover businesses.

The new footprint will move most of the festival’s vendors and entertainers to State Street and The Green, then continue down to Legislative Mall.

“The reason for the change is to showcase more of what downtown Dover has to offer,” said Wendie Vestfall, president of Kent County Tourism. “It’s our goal to expose visitors of the festival to the rich history, culture, and heritage of the area while driving them through the doors of our wonderful downtown restaurants and storefront doors.”

In addition, the move of the footprint will open up all the parking that surrounds Legislative Mall.

With a change in the footprint, a change to the parade route will also have to happen. The parade will remain on State Street and will turn left onto Loockerman Street to disperse at the Delaware Public Archives.

Legislative Mall will not completely be left out of the festival. Kent County Tourism plans to feature a tethered hot-air balloon that people can ride in to capture scenic pictures of the city, children’s activities and the annual car show on the Federal Street side of the mall.

Kent County Tourism is currently accepting registration for vendors and parade participants.

For more, visit or call 734-4888.