Summer’s the season for celebration in Delaware, whether you favor sun-baked fun on a breezy beach, the sounds of top-name bands jamming under the stars, or the funky fun of our state’s offbeat, food-fueled festivals. From the shores of Rehoboth Beach to the Pirate Sails aboard our state’s Tall Ship, there’s something for everyone in this Top 10 list of Delaware’s Summer events.
Firefly Music Festival
It took just a couple of years and an avalanche of top-notch acts to make Firefly one of the premier Indie rock festivals in the nation. This year, fans are tuning up for the Foo Fighters, Outkast, Weezer, Imagine Dragons and more. June 19-22, 2014.
Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival
Tossed by waves and tides into an object of beauty and desire, sea glass is revered for its rarity and charm by artists worldwide. Here’s a chance to see the magic of more than forty sea glass artists, along with other coastal artisans, and learn the finer points of collecting and identifying these sea-tossed gems. June 28-29, 2014.
Fourth of July celebrations
Fireworks are just part of the celebration at locations up and down the state. For something different, check out the Colonial charms of the Independence Day Program in Dover; the Cape May-Lewes Ferry’s Special Fireworks Cruise; or the Red, White + Zoo event at Brandywine Zoo. July 4, 2014.
Delaware State Fair
Summertime in Kent County can mean only one thing: A glorious amalgam of deep-fried treats, live music, rodeos, demolition derbies, and the very best in Delaware livestock and agriculture: the Delaware State Fair. Held annually at the 300-acre Harrington State Fairgrounds, this 10-day Delaware tradition dates back to 1920. Concerts have included the likes of Gloria Estefan, New Kids on the Block, Tammy Wynette, Travis Tritt and Bill Cosby -- this year, Lady Antebellum is part of the lineup! The Midway Slots and Simulcast, Harrington Raceway and The Centre Ice Rink are also nearby. July 17-26, 2014.
Rehoboth Beach Sandcastle Contest
Get your inner architect moving – or just watch the fun at Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach’s popular Sandcastle Contest, which inevitably inspires some fanciful creations, and usually includes a few sessions on sculpting technique. Aug. 2, 2014.
Kalmar Nyckel Pirate Festival
This is the chance to get your “arrrrrr” on and experience life as an 18th century pirate aboard Delaware’s Tall Ship, the Kalmar Nyckel. “Pirate crews” will share stories about the history of piracy on the Delaware River, and guests are treated to a Pirate Parade, Costume Contest, crafts and activities. (late June)
The quaint, cottage-filled village of Arden comes alive with arts & crafts, music, antiques and more every summer. Grab a beer and a sandwich and enjoy the bands, or catch the popular used book sale. Aug. 30, 2014.
Riverfront Blues Festival
Things get real cool and real hot all in the same weekend at the outdoor Riverfront Blues Festival, a three-day lineup of national performers playing by the banks of the Christina River. (early August)
Taste of Rehoboth
Enjoy live cooking demonstrations and food samples from some of this stellar dining town’s top chefs and restaurants. Includes wine pairings, Dogfish Head beer, live music, live & silent auctions. Open to all ages. (late August)
Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival
Billed as “Delaware’s largest family picnic,” the Ice Cream Fest attracts thousands to the grounds of an old Gothic Revival mansion at Rockwood to hear bluegrass, sample treats from area dairies, restaurants and craft breweries, and keep the kids occupied with fun and games. June 28-29, 2014.