Cape Gazette

Lewes celebrates Dutch heritage with Tulip Festival

Chamber celebrates fifth annual event with 10,000 bulbs
Apr 16, 2014
Photo by: Ron MacArthur People line up to try the frustrating bottle game in front of the Zwaanendael Museum.

Although not all of the more than 10,000 tulips planted in Lewes had bloomed in time for the fifth annual Lewes Tulip Festival, there was enough color and perfect weather to highlight the April 12 event.

The event featured a photography contest, presentation of preservation awards, Dutch games and tours at the museum, tulip bulb sales, a quilt exhibit, plein air artists and Tip Toe to the Tulips trolley tours coordinated with the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. Many downtown Lewes merchants also participated in the event. Deputy Mayor and chamber member Ted Becker was chairman.

Becker said more than 10,000 tulip bulbs were planted last fall. He said thanks to financial assistance from Fulton Bank, a landscaper took on the task of planting most of the bulbs. In addition, Lewes in Bloom volunteers planted many bulbs in planters and beds in the city.

Lewes' connection to the Netherlands dates back to the 17th century. An Englishman, Capt. Henry Hudson, was employed by the Dutch when he discovered the entrance to the Delaware Bay Aug. 8, 1609.

Dutch traders traded with Native Americans in the 1620s, and the first Dutch settlement in Lewes was established in 1631 as a whaling colony. The settlement was short-lived as Siconese Indians raided and destroyed the small village that same year.

The Dutch returned to Lewes in 1659, calling their settlement Hoerenkill. Then in 1674, the English took control of the small village renaming it Whorekill.

Sponsors of the Tulip Festival included Lewes Chamber of Commerce, Lewes in Bloom, Lewes Historical Society, Lewes Parks & Recreation Commission, Zwaanendael Museum and Historic Lewes Farmers Market. Fulton Bank was the corporate sponsor for the second straight year.





Sharyn Murray, an interpreter at the Zwaanendael Museum, is wearing a Dutch-fabric dress that would have been worn in the 18th century. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Marge Weiss of Cape Artists paints a flower scene in Zwaanendael Park. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Morgan Barton, left, and Jessica Weingart, both of Princeton, N.J., could not resist posing for a photograph. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Leslie Lesko shows off her grand-prize winning photograph in the annual Tulip Festival photography contest. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Because of the harsh winter, most tulips are a few weeks behind schedule this spring. Even so, there was enough color around Lewes to brighten the fifth annual Tulip Festival. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Lewes in Bloom, the group responsible for planting thousands of bulbs each fall, has plenty of blooming plants for sale during the festival. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
The Buttery flower garden along Savannah Road in downtown Lewes is in full bloom. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Siena Farkas, 7, of Lewes throws all of the wooden eggs out of her basket in an effort to hit a wooden shoe target. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Mike DiPaolo, executive director of the Lewes Historical Society, says the bottle game is a piece of cake. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
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