Cape May – Lewes Ferry Hosts Maritime Day Celebration
Event Schedule for May 19 at the Lewes Ferry Terminal
(Lewes, DE) Did you know that the legendary privateer-pirate Captain Kidd made Lewes a port of call in the early 1770s? Ever imagine what it’s like to be a lighthouse keeper in the 1800s or a river pilot handling a vessel during a sudden squall? Experience and celebrate maritime history and its impact on the region at Delaware’s inaugural National Maritime Day celebration on Saturday, May 19 at the Lewes Ferry Terminal. Lewes, Delaware – known as the First Town in the First State – enjoys a heritage that is rich in maritime history and current maritime interests. The celebration, complete with events, displays and activities, is free and the public is welcome.
“Dating back to the first settlement in 1631, Delaware – and particularly the City of Lewes – has a unique place in the annals of American maritime history,” said committee member Bill Lowe, Chairman of the Delaware River and Bay Authority. “The objective of this event is to celebrate merchant marine professionals and to promote the community’s rich maritime history.” Tim Sumner, an Admissions Field Representative for the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy added, “This celebration is an opportunity to learn about the American Merchant Marine – its service in foreign and domestic trades, historic support of the Nation’s military, and the many careers it offers.”
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, Delaware Shore Chapter and the Delaware Bay and River Pilots Association will lay wreaths at the Unknown Sailors’ Cemetery at the Lewes Terminal.
What: The Cape May – Lewes Ferry has joined with the Lewes Historical Society, Lewes Chamber of Commerce, the Delaware Bay and River Pilots Association, the USMMA Alumni Delaware Shore Chapter, Overfalls Lightship, and other organizations to organize and host a local Maritime Day Celebration. 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 may be available for tours at the adjacent finger pier.
When: Saturday, May 19, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Lewes Ferry Terminal, 43 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes, Delaware
Cost: Admission is free. Everyone is welcome to attend.
“On the Rocks,” the Cape May –Lewes Ferry’s outdoor bar and grill, will be open to serve food and beverages. Some of the day’s exhibitors include the Delaware Bay and River Pilot Association, the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy, United States Naval Academy, SUNY Maritime College, United States Coast Guard Academy and Auxiliary, Randive commercial divers, photographer Kevin Fleming, Abraxus Studio of Art, Lewes Historical Society, Zwaanendael Museum, Overfalls Lightship display, Fort Miles and the Lewes Fire Department.
Why: 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. The Zwaanendael museum, Lewes Historical Society buildings and the Overfalls Lightship hold numerous historical items of the area’s maritime heritage.
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 forty million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. In 2011, the ferry service, which connects Victorian Cape May, New Jersey, and historic Lewes, Delaware, transported approximately 275,000 vehicles and nearly 1 million passengers.
PDF of Maritime Poster