Holiday Festivities Abound, Part 1
Ah, The Holidays! The most wonderful time of the year, according to a popular tune. That certainly is the case along the coastal towns of Sussex County. There is something for everyone regardless of age so grab your calendar. Prepare yourself, your friends and your family for a season filled with light shows, tree lightings, parades, house tours, holiday gift displays, music, and much more. Santa is going to be very busy making personal appearances at most events.
The Winter WonderFest runs from November 18 – December 31. It is a self-guided car drive or open-air wagon ride through a dazzling light display that organizers dub “Field of Christmas Dreams”. It features an airplane, rocking horse, elves, a gingerbread house and, of course, Santa riding various modes of transportation
A non-profit group called Festival of Cheer organizes the display that also serves as a fundraiser benefitting various local community organizations. Last year. More than 13,000 cars took the trip and Festival of Cheer raised over $100,000. Since it started in 2016, the event has raised more than $850,000 and hosted over 300,000 guests. Non-profits can apply for the 8-12 grants that are distributed by the group and application details and grant sponsors are listed on the Winter WonderFest website.
Schellville returns from November 19 – December 31. What started with nine miniature houses in 2017 has now grown into an elaborate permanent village that continues to expand. Its home, new last year, is located behind the Tanger Seaside Outlet. This year’s new offerings will include tree houses, an expanded snow zone, a sledding hill, game room, and a new train.
An extensive line up of bands will entertain each night the village is open on the Snowflake Stage. Refreshments will be available at a new outdoor bar and the HoHoHo Hospitality tent. Candy Cane Artisan Lane will provide plenty of opportunities to purchase items from local craftspeople. The event and most activities are free although third-party venders and food concession charge a fee and there is a $5.00 charge to rent skates on the sizable skating rink. Last year, Schellville welcomed 104,000 guest and raised more than $84,000 to help end childhood hunger. Check the website for specific dates, hours, the senior early bird special, and volunteer opportunities. Online registration to attend is requested.
Still another opportunity for purchasing holiday gifts takes place Black Friday Weekend at the Developing Artist Collaboration’s (DAC) Sip and Shop event held at the Dewey Beach Lions Club facility at 115 McKinley Street DAC is a non-profit dedicated to “helping Artists elevate their creative careers & lifestyles through education, opportunity, resources, and collaboration”. It is probably best known for its Monday night Creative Market in West Rehoboth and the Sip and Shop is organized along the same lines.
The Dewey Sip and Shop will feature 50 local artists who will be selling a wide array of handmade goods ranging from ceramics, woodwork, photography and body/bath products. Attendees will have an opportunity to make their own art or just relax with a beverage from the Sip and Shop Bar while listening to live music. Hours are 11-4 on Friday, November 25, Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27.
More holiday options coming soon.
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 Oprah 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.