Art Festivals across Southern Delaware

Who doesn’t like an art festival? The people are friendly, the displays are colorful and, it’s a good excuse to savor the outdoors since most are outside or semi-outside starting in the spring and continuing into fall.  

This year, festival season kicks off on Saturday, May 7 from 9 am-4pm with the Annual Dewey Arts and Fun Fest, a collaboration between the Dewey Business Partnership and the town’s Lions Club.  

According to published information, more than 70 artists will show off their work in the area around Dagsworthy Avenue.  

One of the newest members of the festival line-up, the Rehoboth Arts Festival, is a partnership between the Rehoboth Art League and the City of Rehoboth It happens on Saturday, May 21 from 10 am-5 pm. Artist tents will line the pathway in Grove Park, home of the Tuesday Farmers Market during the summer. The RAL web site lists the artists on display at this juried show.  

Chester County (PA) artist John Pompeo has donated an original oil painting, “Awakenings,” to the Rehoboth Art League to help raise funds that support its education and exhibition programs. It is on display in RAL’s Corkran Gallery.  

The Lewes Historical Society (LHS) plays host to a dazzling display of jewelry and other creations at the Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival set for Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 from 9 am – 4 pm. Coastal artists, live music, food and historical/educational activities will mix at this family-oriented event taking place at the Historical Society’s campus on Shipcarpenter Street in Lewes.  

Next up is the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Art Show set for Saturday, July 2 from 9 am-3 pm. It attracts some of the most popular and prolific artists in the region. This year’s theme is “Art that Gives”. The show has quite a history! In July of 1966, members of the church’s St Catherine’s Guild strung a clothesline across the wall in front of the church and invited local artists to display. That successful first show encouraged the women of St Peter’s to continue the event. Today, it is the parish’s major outreach activity with proceeds benefitting multiple community organizations. 

St. Peter’s Church festival

The Lewes Historical Society is back on center stage Saturday, July 16 from 9 am-4pm with its Summer Crafts Fair. More than 60 artists will be showing works at the Society’s campus. The $5 admission includes entrance to all LHS properties.  

August brings with it the “Big Kahuna” of art shows – the Rehoboth Art League’s 49th annual Outdoor Fine Art and Fine Craft Show. Tents dot RAL’s 3.5-acre campus showcasing artists from up and down the East Coast and offering food, live music, children’s activities, artist demonstrations, gallery exhibits, well-tended gardens, the historic Peter Marsh Homestead, and a Dogfish Head Beer Garden. 

Dates for this juried show are August 6-7 and August 13-14. Saturday hours and 10am-5pm and Sunday hours are 10am-4pm. There is a $5 entrance fee, but a ticket bought on Saturday includes a return visit the next day.  

The Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival wraps up the coastal beach town schedule on Saturday, September 10 from 10 am-5pm. The annual event serves as a fundraiser for five local schools.  

Though it technically is not a festival, the annual Lewes Artists Studio Tour on Saturday, September 17 from 10 am-4-pm combines a drive-around with stops at various artist studios which primarily are the individuals’ homes. This semi-outdoor FREE event is free and features at least 16 artists. Maps are provided.   

For current information, consult each of the festival web pages.  


By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist

Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Ophrah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.  

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