Cape Gazette
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Milton festival organizers thank community

By Marie Mayor and John Chirtea | Jun 02, 2013

Thank you, Miltonians and festival goers! You made the 10th Annual Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival a four-day Memorial Day Weekend better than ever success. What a kick-off to the 2013 summer season! Whatever the age or interest, there was something fun to do in Milton on Memorial Day Weekend.

Thanks go to Aurelio Grisanty and the Milton Art Guild for the festival’s welcome reception May 23 at the Milton Historical Society Museum.

On Friday afternoon the Milton Farmers Market continued the celebration, and in the evening the Milton Theatre led by Maryellen Davis and Ellen Passman produced the world premiere of the horseshoe crab murder mystery in Milton Memorial Park. Watch for encore performances of the play, including Milton’s own Bootsie Duvet, under consideration for later this summer.

On Saturday more than a thousand kids of all ages participated in events such as the children’s art tent, hands-on exhibits, the touch tank, train rides, a scavenger hunt, crafts, guided nature walks, both in downtown Milton and at the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Milton Mayor Marion Jones along with Milton councilmen John Borros and John Collier greeted festival goers; hospitality tables throughout the park directed guests to the staging area for train rides. And yes, thanks also to our two mariners, Patsy Cicala and Clem Legates, for providing boat trips on the beautiful Broadkill River. Milton's Economic Development Committee and Public Works Department carried out many of the last minute challenges without missing a beat.

A special thanks to Bill Jones, director, Primehook National Wildlife Refuge, who provided an interpretive lecture about the contributions of horseshoe crabs to the nature and economy of Sussex County. He transported attendees between the volunteer and staff-led activities at the refuge and in downtown Milton.

Festival vendors reported record sales, and hundreds of children and adults participated in the many activities, including getting up close and personal with the real stars of the day, Delaware Bay’s horseshoe crabs themselves.

On Sunday the Milton Theatre with support from the Milton Century Club presented the Second Street Players’ “A Walk in the Woods” in Milton Memorial Park, complete with fairy tale performances by a witch, three little pigs, a big bad wolf, three bears and of course Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood. The festival was a perfect example of what can happen when townspeople, local and federal government agencies and community leaders volunteer and work together.

Lastly, we would like to thank Georgia Dalzell, executive director of the Milton Chamber of Commerce, for her leadership and attention to detail she provided during the past six annual Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festivals.

After the four days of celebration, on Memorial Day Miltonians reflected and showed appreciation for veterans of all the armed services who sacrificed their lives for our freedom to live in Milton, a great little town with a big heart.

Marie Mayor and John Chirtea
co-chairs, 2013 Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival

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