As Memorial Day Weekend draws near and the coastal region prepares for yet another fantastic summer season, it's only fitting that unusual weather patterns and popular annual events begin dominating the calendar on a regular basis.

We've certainly had our share of the former in recent days, with undoubtedly more in the cards during the warm weather season. It's a sign of the season - summer storms that often leave a lasting impression on those who experience them.

And as for the summer events and festivals, well we certainly have plenty of those on tap as well. Nearly every town in the region has a signature event coming up over the next few months, and we'll be here to tell you all about every one of them.

These events have become as synonymous with the coastal region as lower taxes, a relaxed way of life and our well known selection of eclectic restaurant choices.

We unofficially kicked the season off last weekend with the opening of Funland on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, always a crowd favorite every Mother's Day Weekend. And this week, we have another great selection of events and happenings for you to choose from.

So, let's get right to it shall we? And if you're new to the area, or just visiting, you can check out the interactive map at the end of this blog entry to learn just where all the fun is happening this weekend.

We begin our preview of this weekend's events with a local gathering that, while only in its third year, has quickly become a favorite on the early season festival calendar.

For that, we head to Frankford and...

Bald Cypress Bluegrass Festival (May 19). Scheduled for Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m. in Frankford, this event features five bands and will be headlined by Johnny Staats & the Delivery Boys from West Virginia. 

A fundraiser to benefit Delaware Wild Lands, the Bald Cypress Bluegrass Festival will also feature a selection of food trucks, as well as ice cream from  The Blue Scoop and delicious pastries from The Blue Hen Baker

There will also be Dogfish Head brews, wines from Nassau Valley Vineyards and much more.

The festival will be held at the Roman Fisher Farm, located at the edge of the Great Cypress Swamp, or 245558 Cypress Road if you have GPS. 

Tickets to the event cost $35, $10 for those ages 13-17 and children 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets also include a tour of the swamp, the largest contiguous forest on Delmarva. 

Click HERE for more information or to purchase tickets.

DeFeet Breast Cancer 5k (May 20). Held at the Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach, this ninth annual event supports the work of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.

Registration is $25 through May 17 and $30 thereafter, including the day of the event. 

There’s also a one-mile fun walk planned, for those who want to be involved but don’t want to tackle the entire 5K course.

Click HERE for more information.

Laurel Strawberry Festival (May 19). The town of Laurel will be holding its 11th annual Strawberry Festival this Saturday, May 19, centered around the historic St. Philips Episcopal Church downtown.

Slated for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the historic church on Central Avenue, this event features craft vendors, kids’ games, local community organizations, funnel cakes, oyster fritter sandwiches and cream of crab soup served by the Hope Lodge and a celebration of all things strawberry. 

There will be an abundance of the fruit on display and for sale, as well as strawberry ice cream, strawberry lemonade, strawberry shortcake and more.

Admission to the festival is free, but all proceeds raised will be donated to families in need in the Laurel area, as well as the organizations that serve them.

34th Annual Spring Sidewalk Sale (May 18-20). If you’re interested in a bargain this weekend, then the Rehoboth/Dewey area has just the thing. 

The Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce will be holding its 34th annual Spring Sidewalk Sale this Friday through Sunday, with dozens of businesses throughout the resort towns participating. 

Sale hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. Visit the Chamber's Website for more information.

Nanticoke Indian Heritage Day (May 19). The Nanticoke Indian Tribe invites everyone to its 2018 Heritage Day this Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission to the Tribe’s museum in Oak Orchard will be free during the event, which is billed as a celebration of the Nanticoke’s heritage and culture.

Activities for the day include Native American story telling, dancing, traditional music, vendors, Native American food and a special guest speaker from the Haskell Indian Boarding School in Kansas, which several Nanticoke members attended.

Learn more at www.nanticokeindians.org.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, we hope you have a fun and exciting few days here in the coastal region.

And be sure to check back here next week in our “Weekender Blog” for more great happenings at and near the Delaware and Maryland beaches.

Have a great weekend everyone!