‘Tis the season to be jolly so deck your halls with boughs of holly – from the 2023 Milton Holly Festival slated for Saturday, December 9th from 9 am to 3 pm. But more on that in a minute.
The week before – on Saturday, December 2 – is the annual Lewes House Tour from 10 – 4 held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s (LHS) Holiday Village and Market set for Friday, December 1 from 4 – 7 pm and Saturday, December 2 from 9 am – 4 pm.
December 1 also happens to be First Friday when the LHS’s Sussex Tavern is open for beverages and music. Staffers and volunteers dress in period outfits every First Friday and for other special events.
The Holiday Village and Market will feature crafts from more than a dozen artisans, as well as local specialty food vendors, including Hill Farm, Baybees Honey, Backyard Jams & Jellies, Clare Shockley’s Nut Brittles, Four Acres Farm, and Brittingham Farm. Also featured is LHS’s Greenery & Decorations Sale in the Barn, and visits from alpacas from Four Acres Farm in Frankford, DE, and Charlie the Sheep from Brittingham Farms in Millsboro.
New this year is the recently opened Coffee & Tea House, located on the LHS campus. You can sample a hot chocolate recipe from the 1700s or a selection of coffees and teas.
Ample parking will be available at the Lewes History Museum located at 101 Adams Avenue in Lewes. A free shuttle service will be provided between the museum and the LHS main campus at Shipcarpenter Street.
The Holly Fest is one of the biggest events of the year for Milton. Sixty-five vendors currently are signed up to show their wares. They will be displaying their work at various locations throughout the town including the Milton Fire House.
The Milton Garden Club will display its festive wreaths. Members will be hard at work prior to the festival making a variety of greenery creations for the holidays.
Community Outreach nurses from Beebe Hospital will be on site at the festival from 9am-3pm providing FREE Health Screenings that include blood pressure, blood sugar, and total cholesterol. Appointments or registration are not required.
While you are at it, plan to take the Milton Holiday House Tour being held the same day from 2:30-6:30, rain or shine. Houses on the tour typically range from the classic Victorian style of homes in Historic Milton to more modern styles in nearby neighborhoods. Hosts pride themselves on dressing up their homes “to the nines” for the holiday season.
The Tour is organized by the Women’s Club of Milton. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit its educational and charitable programs.
The Club is a women’s service organization with members of all ages, talents and interests. Established in 1973, it has been recognized for its positive involvement throughout the Milton community.
And if all of that isn’t enough, the Milton Arts Guild is holding its annual Holiday Market December 8-10 at its 107 Federal Street Gallery, during Milton’s Holly Fest activities.
The market will feature 15 artists’ fine arts and crafts, as well as MAG’s holiday-themed exhibit, “A Winter’s Tale.” A reception for “A Winter’s Tale” is Sunday, December 10, from 3-5 p.m. The public is invited to join MAG’s artists for refreshments and to view the new show.
House Tour cost is $25 in advance and $30 day of the tour. Advance tickets are on sale at Salon Milton, The Mercantile and Lewes Gourmet. Or contact 302-329-9738 to reserve tickets or go to womensclubofmilton.org for details.
Tickets for the Lewes Tour are $35 and are available online. Proceeds help support the town’s cultural, education and historical efforts.
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.