These next few days will essentially bring to a close the always exciting and jam-packed fall festival season here in southern Delaware. We hope you’ve had a chance to attend as many of these great events as possible over the last 10 weeks or so and that you’ll keep them in mind for next year as well (or in two years for Return Day).
But before we officially put a cap on the 2016 festival season, we have a trio of the area’s heavyweights in store for the next few days here in Sussex County. I mean, we might as well end it with a bang, right?
Over the course of the next week, three events that have not only gained local and regional recognition, but also national acclaim as well, will take center stage here in our area. And, in the case of Punkin Chunkin, well this unique southern Delaware festival is known in many countries around the world, and we couldn’t be happier that it’s returning this weekend after a two-year hiatus.
So, here’s a lineup you don’t see every day…
If you like flying pumpkins, we’ve got that for you. If you enjoy sitting and watching the finest in independent films, we have that for you as well. And if you’re a history or political buff, or even if you just like dressing up in 200-year-old clothes, well we also have a festival that’s right up your alley.
And, as it is the beach, we also have a water-related activity scheduled for this weekend. Who says you can’t enjoy the water after September anyway?
Read all about this weekend’s power-packed lineup here in our “Weekender Blog,” and be sure to enjoy this last great festival weekend of 2016. And my, what a great weekend it’s going to be!
So here are our choices for the weekend of Nov. 4-6 (with a bonus Return Day writeup):
World Championship Punkin Chunkin (Nov. 4-6). One of southern Delaware’s most beloved festivals returns to the Wheatley Farm in Bridgeville this weekend after a two-year hiatus that was caused by insurance liability concerns. Pumpkins will be “chunked” all three days beginning at 8 a.m. and continue until dusk. There are also cooking contests scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, a pageant on the event’s final day and live local bands each night.
The actual chunk is once again broken up into several different and very distinct categories, including trebuchets, catapults, torsion, centrifugals, theatrical and the granddaddy of them all, the air cannons. The current world record chunk is 4,694.68 feet set by the American Chunker team in 2013, which is also the last year the event was held.
For more information on the 2016 World Championship Punkin Chunkin event, including directions, tailgating and camping information and more, visit www.punkinchunkin.com.
If you've never been to Punkin Chunkin, check out this preview from a few year's ago on the Discovery Channel
Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival (Nov. 4-13). This regional favorite is back for another run in 2016, marking the 19th year for the event. Organized by the Rehoboth Beach Film Society, the festival is the oldest and largest event of its kind in Delaware and attracts visitors from around 15 states to the coastal region each fall.
Screenings this year will be held at three separate venues: the Cinema Art Theater on Dartmouth Drive in Lewes, the theater at Cape Henlopen High School and at Metropolitan Community Church on Plantation Road in Rehoboth Beach.
The Cinema Art Theater just opened in March of this year and now provides 104 tiered and staggered seats, along with professional projection and sound equipment, adding a little something extra to the annual festival. Note that the film festival is NO LONGER held at the Movies at Midway on Route 1.
For more information on the 2016 Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival, visit www.rehobothfilm.com or call the Rehoboth Beach Film Society at 302-645-9095.
Sussex County Return Day (Nov. 9-10). While not held this weekend, this immensely popular local event will be taking place well before the next edition of the “Weekender Blog,” so we’re including it here this week.
Now more than 100 years old, Sussex County Return Day has gained regional and national attention in previous years due to it being the only event of it’s kind in the United States. The festival also received attention from the national media in 2008 when Delaware’s own Joe Biden came to town as the vice president-elect, after Barack Obama’s historic election as president.
This year’s Return Day event is scheduled for Nov. 9-10 in downtown Georgetown and will again be highlighted by the Return Day parade on Thursday, Nov. 10, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Georgetown’s own Rosalie Walls, Return Day president from 1972 until earlier this year, will serve as grand marshal and WBOC’s Steve Hammond will be the master of ceremonies.
For a full schedule of events for the two-day biennial festival, as well as maps, photos from previous festivals and even a short history lesson on Sussex County Return Day, visit www.returnday.com.
A big part of Return Day has always been the ceremonial "burying of the hatchet," which involves the leaders of Sussex County's political parties officially setting aside their differences until the next election cycle. Below are two photos of this activity, one historical in nature and one recent.
Cruise the Broadkill (Nov. 5). Cape Water Tours & Taxi is planning another cruise to Milton via the Broadkill River this Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cruise leaves from Fisherman’s Wharf in Lewes and goes to the docks at Milton Memorial Park and back. Passengers will have 45 minutes in Milton to look around and grab some lunch before returning to Lewes. The cost is $35 per person and the trip will be limited to 20 passengers. For more information, visit www.capewatertours.com or call 302-644-7334.
Rehoboth Art League Holiday Fair (Nov. 5-6). This weekend marks the 27th year for this popular holiday event in Henlopen Acres. More than 25 artisans are expected this year in categories that include jewelry, pottery, painting, woodworking and glassworks. The Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach will also be offering lunch this year, in the Children’s Studio on-site. The cost for the event is $5 per adult and there is no charge for children under the age of 12. For more information on the 2016 Rehoboth Art League Holiday Fair, visit www.rehobothartleague.com.
Whatever you choose to do this weekend, we hope you have a fun and exciting few days here at the Delaware beaches.
And be sure to check back here next week in our “Weekender Blog” for more great happenings in and near coastal Delaware.
Have a great weekend everyone!
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