There is MUCH to do (and NOT about nothing) in the coastal towns during the holidays that it makes one’s head spin. Besides parades, arts & crafts shows, and festivals, there also are concerts galore and several on-going family-oriented events.
One of the more popular holiday events is the Holiday Peace Concert by the Rehoboth Concert Band (RCB). It is scheduled for Sunday, December 17 at 3 pm and is taking place at the Cape Henlopen High School on Kings Highway. The theme is “Holiday Peace”.
This is the 12th season for the band. It’s annual concert featuring multicultural music of the season and its call for universal peace holds resonance this year, according to the band’s web site. “We believe music brings communities together,” according to band director Sharon Still.
RCB will be performing a variety of compositions depicting the theme of celebrating winter holidays and calling for peace. Included are Christmas with “An American Christmas,” Hanukkah with “A Rollicking Hanukkah,” and a moving Hanukkah hymn performed by a flute choir, “A Polish Hymn.” Then “Suite of African American Spirituals” features “Of Strength and Peace” and “The Ascension,” both powerful, moving pieces that encourage peace as a mindset or state of consciousness according to Still.
The day before, on Saturday, December 16, the Southern Delaware Orchestra (SODELO) performs “An Enchanted Afternoon” with full orchestra at Epworth Church on Holland Glade Road. It is scheduled for 3 pm. Selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Richard Rodgers’ Some Enchanted Evening, Bob Ceruli’s Christmas Sing Along, and German composer Engelbert Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel. (You read that right. The pop singer took the name Engelbert Humperdink but that is a whole other story!)
A few more notable holiday concerts:
- Coastal Concerts also presents a Kaleidescope Chamber Collective, Dec. 9th
- Capital Ringers’ “12 Days of Christmas” Concert on Dec. 10th
- Mid Atlantic Symphony Orchestra has a New Year’s Eve Concert on the 31st (after their holiday concert just this past weekend)
Of course, there are many on-going options to build into our season. Lewes Lights started December 1st and continues throughout the month. This is an easy “to do” adventure since, using a downloadable map, you just drive around in your car to see the creative ways Lewes residents have decorated the exteriors of their homes with tender loving care. The map went live on December 1 and will continue throughout the month each evening from 5 – 9 pm. The town of Lewes made a special effort this year to get more houses onboard. An online map details houses on the “tour”.
Further south, Ocean City Maryland displays its Winterfest of Lights running through at Northside Park on 125th Street, Nov. 16th – Dec. 24th. (Sadly, the Winter WonderFest at Hudson Fields will not take place this year. The drive through light show thrilled many for seven years. Funds raised benefitted many Sussex County charities. )
Then there’s the Schellville Village, typically on the top of the list for entertainment and music. The Village is open each day from 5 – 9 pm. Early bird hours for seniors and small children are 1 – 4 pm. Schellville opened on November 18 and continues through December 31st. It is located behind the Tanger Rehoboth Beach Seaside Outlet and a across the street from Epworth Church on Holland Glade Road.
Live bands play every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday including popular groups like Hot Sauce, Bettenroo, GirlsRoom, Lower Case Blues and the Eric Clapton Tribute Band – Bell Bottom Blues. Music starts at 6 pm. There are plenty of recreational activities available such as skating and sledding, a variety of refreshment and beverage kiosks, a dazzling light display and of course, Santa’s Workshop. .
Admission is free but tickets are required for crowd control purposes. In 2022, Schellville welcomed more than 168,000 guests, served more than 14,000 cups of hot cocoa, and raised more than $100,000 to support the Beebe Medical Foundation and other local non-profits.
For a lively storyline, there are some great local shows–all wrapping up December 10th! The Milton Theater is featuring The Sound of Music by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of The Rodgers & Hammerstein
Organization. Then there are some great live shows featuring spins off of classic characters. Estella Scrooge plays at Clear Space Theatre Company though December 10th. Possum Point players are also presenting the Life and Adventures of Santa Claus through Dec. 10th. (Second Street Players just wrapped up their SOLD OUT ‘A Christmas Carol’ this past weekend.)
Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry s 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.