Cape May – Lewes Ferry Hosts Sixth Annual Maritime Day Celebration
Festival Features Remembrance Ceremony and Vessel Tours at the Lewes Terminal
(Lewes, DE) Experience and celebrate maritime history and its impact on the region at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry’s sixth annual Maritime Day celebration at the Lewes Ferry Terminal on Saturday, May 20th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lewes, known as the First Town in the First State, enjoys a heritage that is rich in both its maritime history and its current maritime interests. The celebration – complete with events, displays, vessel tours and activities – is free and the public is welcome.
“Lewes has a unique place in the annals of American maritime history and we’re proud that the Ferry is part of it,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations. “This community event is a great opportunity for the public to learn more about our rich maritime industry and maritime vocations. Come and join us for a great day of activities and tours as we celebrate the U.S. Merchant Marine, its historic support of the Nation’s military, and the many careers it offers.”
The event will be held rain or shine. The 2017 Maritime Day Festival schedule of activities are:
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Information Booths & Nautical Displays
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Vessel Tours
11:00 a.m. J. Marcos Salaverria, Director of Education at the Lewes Historical Society – “Captain Kidd, the British Royal Navy and the haven of Lewes”
Dr. Gary D. Wray of Fort Miles Historical Association – “German U-Boat Attack on East Coast, 1942-1945”
12 noon Lewes Fire Boat Water Cannon Display – Delaware State Police helicopter water rescue
1:00 p.m. Remembrance Ceremony - Wreath Laying Ceremony at Unknown Sailors' Cemetery
2:00 p.m. Life raft inflation demonstration by Ferry personnel
A remembrance ceremony to honor sailors who perished on the Lewes beaches will take place at 1:00 p.m. As part of this ceremony, representatives of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and the Delaware Bay and River Pilots Association will lay a wreath at the Unknown Sailors’ Cemetery at the Lewes Terminal.
With the special one day only round trip foot passenger rate of $6.50, New Jersey visitors can take a departure from Cape May and spend a great day at the Lewes Terminal learning about Maritime history. After parking your vehicle free in the Cape May Terminal lot, board the 9:30 a.m. departure for Lewes. “You’ll have plenty of time to tour maritime vessels, survey the exhibits, lunch outside on the boardwalk and enjoy water front views and great food at On the Rocks,” said Rhona Bronson, Director of Marketing for the Ferry. “Then, catch the 2:45 or 4:15 boat back from Lewes and you’ll be home in time for dinner!”
Various maritime participants will have booths inside the terminal, glass skywalk, and (weather-dependent) on the boardwalk behind the terminal. A CMLF vessel will be open for public tours of the engine room and bridge. Other vessels will be available for viewing at the adjacent finger pier.
A key participant and sponsor of the event, EMD Power Products, will be on hand to discuss their newer series of diesel engines, including the set of engines now installed on the MV Delaware ferry. These new engines reduce emissions by some 36% and reduce maintenance expenses at the ferry by approximately $140,000 annually.
Some of the day’s exhibitors include the Lewes Historical Society, Lightship Overfalls Foundation, US Coast Guard Academy, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, US Merchant Marine Academy, American Professional Mariners Association, Fort Miles, Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, University of Delaware, Zwaanendael Museum, Lewes Fire Department, the Lighthouse Foundation, Bower Maritime Museum, Delaware Bay and River Cooperative, Delaware State Police Air Rescue Team, the Pilots Association for the Bay and River Delaware, Nanticoke River Power Squadron, Sea Scout,, and ESI - EMD Power Products.
“On the Rocks,” the Cape May – Lewes Ferry’s waterfront eatery, will be open to serve food and beverages.
In 1933, the United States Congress declared May 22 as National Maritime Day. The designation honors the contributions of the American merchant marine – civilians who have defended the freedom of the United States since 1775 and who executed the largest sealift the world has ever known during World War II. Observance of National Maritime Day also honors the maritime industry and the benefits it brings Americans in terms of transportation, jobs, goods, and recreational opportunities.
About the Cape May-Lewes Ferry
The Cape May – Lewes Ferry is owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962. The Ferry is open year-round and has carried more than 43 million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. In 2015, the ferry service, which connects Victorian Cape May, New Jersey, and historic Lewes, Delaware, transported approximately 275,000 vehicles and nearly 1 million passengers. For schedule, rates and other program information, please visit the ferry’s website at www.CMLF.com, or call toll free, 800-643-3779. Like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @CMLFerry.
PDF of Press Release
Lewes Fire Boat