Milton Fun, from the Art Walk to the Holly Festival 

Twenty-four artists displayed their handiwork at the annual Milton Art Walk on a picture-perfect Saturday, October 15th day. Many of them, and more, will be showing their arts and crafts at the Annual Milton Holly Festival on Saturday, December 10th.  

The Art Walk is a unique event that pairs local homeowners with artists who need a suitable place to show off their work. It is organized by the Milton Art Guild located in the heart of town on Federal Street. Most of the homes are clustered around the downtown axis. With the help of a simple map participants can find their way to each location. The back of the map features each artist and his or her specialty.  

The Guild gallery was a focal point of the Walk featuring a colorful selection of members’ art. The display continues on Thursdays through Sundays when the gallery is open to the public.  

A curious bonus this year was the open house at the “Studios on 310 Walnut Street”, former home of the Guild. While not officially part of the Walk, the open space facility/art gallery enabled participants to meet several local artists and catch a glimpse of their studios. The building is owned by Nick Serretore, exhibitions director for the Rehoboth Art League and a well-known local pastel artist. 

December 10 is shaping up to be a powerhouse day for art, garden and historic home lovers. The Milton Chamber of Commerce’s Holly Festival runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at three major locations – the Milton Fire House, (second floor and there is an elevator) the library and the H. O. Brittingham Elementary School. The fire hall and library are within walking distance of each other and the elementary school is a short drive away.  

Approximately 75 vendors will be showing their wares, restaurants will be serving food and beverages, and Santa has promised to make a visit.  

“The American Holly is the official state tree of Delaware”, noted the new Chamber Executive Director Karen Falks. It was designated as such in 1939 and is regarded as one of the state’s most important forest trees with its dark, thorny-leaved foliage and red berries. In Delaware, the American Holly can reach 60 feet and a trunk diameter of 20 inches.  

Falks praised the board members and volunteers who coordinate the Holly Festival and make it a big deal for the town. As a 20-hour a week staffer, she relies on them for help.  “Everything is very put together,” she said.  

In addition to arts and crafts vendors, the Milton Garden Club will have a significant presence at the Holly Festival selling handmade wreathes and decorations garnished with fresh greenery and seasonal trimmings most of which are donated by residents in and around Milton. The festival is a major fundraiser for the Club that recently hosted a successful fall garden tour in September.   

That same day, Women’s Club of Milton Holiday House Tour is set for 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. The tour features nine of Milton’s most charming homes, both historic and new, as well as three historic public buildings: Milton Historical Society and Museum, Milton Town Hall and Milton Arts Guild. All will be tastefully decorated for the holidays, according to pre-event publicity. 

Participation in the Holly Festival is free. The fee for the Holiday House Tour is $25 in advance and $30 on tour day and tickets go on sale in early November. The Women’s Club will be selling tickets at their Holly Festival bake sale table. Ticket sales will be limited.  

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.  

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