Set Sail for the 94th Annual 'A Day in Old New Castle' Festival

Held every May since 1924, this cant-miss event promises fun for the whole family.


A tall ship crew—along with Swedish, Dutch and pirate reenactors—will jostle together to bring history alive during the 94th annual ‘A Day in Old New Castle’ on Saturday, May 19. America’s longest-running festival of private historic home and gardens has an exciting tour of two private historic homes and eight gardens. Plus, there’s a new treat for visitors this year: Delaware’s official replica tall ship, the Kalmar Nyckel, a recreation of a Dutch-built armed merchant ship that brought Swedish settlers to America in 1638.

“We’re very excited to showcase the city of New Castle’s magnificent new pier on the Delaware River in this way,” says city council president Linda Ratchford. “Everyone will be able to see the Kalmar Nickel’s tall ship splendor from the city’s pier throughout the day.”

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Tours of the tall ship, historic homes, museums and gardens are available to festival ticketholders. Popular tours may fill up quickly, so arrive early to choose from the best selection. The tall ship will provide tours to ticketholders on the evening of Friday, May 18, and during the day on Saturday, May 18. 

Also new this year: lively pirate reenactments, musicians, colonial-period demonstrators—including a beer brewer, artists and historical theater—plus kids’ games and activities, including a special pop-up by Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, says festival co-chair Cindy Snyder.

Food trucks and carts will park at the city’s wharf. On Saturday, Yards Brewing Company will have craft beer and various wines for sale in the beer garden (for adults 21 and over who have purchased wristbands).

Visitors can stroll along the riverside, run and play in Battery Park, participate in fun activities on the Green, stop into historic museums (public admission will be free all day!), and shop for one-of-a-kind antique books, period furniture and more. 

The annual ‘A Day in Old New Castle’ festival has been held every third Saturday of May since 1924. For tickets and more information, visit the event website.

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