Take an early morning walk on Lewes Beach, and you’ll likely spot strollers who have their eyes trained on the sand. But these beachcombers aren’t looking for shells. This area is known for yielding cobalt blue and emerald green sea glass, as well as pottery shards from the many shipwrecks off the coast. Many of these collectors will convene at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal this weekend for the Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival.
This is the eighth year for the event, which is sponsored by the Lewes Historical Society, and the second at the terminal. “Frankly, we outgrew the historical society complex,” says Mike DiPaolo, the society’s executive director. “Along with giving us more space, the terminal provides a perfect backdrop.”
The festival will feature nearly 70 sea glass artists and other artisans, including decoy carvers and people who make stained glass art out of sea glass. “They come from around the world,” DiPaolo says. “We have vendors from Greece, Italy, the Virgin Islands, California and Florida. It’s an international event.”
Bring some of your prized pieces. Experts will be on hand to provide information about the origin of the glass, china or pottery.
Many of the sea glass vendors are members of associations that require guarantees of authenticity. “Having the real things is special,” DiPaolo says. “We want to make sure that people who are buying it know that the sea glass is authentic” and not manmade.
Whether on the beach or at the festival, he says, sea glass-lovers relish the thrill of the hunt.
The event’s hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. For information, visit historiclewes.org. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for children under 12.