Be There

Here are five local events you won’t want to miss.

The Bug and Bud Festival in Milford

There’s always something happening in Kent County. From special celebrations such as the anniversary of Old Dover Days to expos for business people and empty nesters, here’s a smattering.

Delaware Business Expo Trade Show
March 5, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
Three years ago John McKown, president of, was approached by his local chamber of commerce and asked if he would participate in the area home show. “Probably not,” said McKown, “because it’s business to consumer, not business to business.” He realized that there wasn’t a B2B event in the county and, with a little prompting from Judy Diogo of the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, decided to create the Delaware Business Expo Trade Show.

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The Expo is now an annual B2B networking event and fundraiser for nine Delaware chambers of commerce. The first year it raised more than $30,000 for the chambers, and expectations are even higher for 2008, as 13 media sponsors help to promote the ever-growing event. With more than 100 exhibit booths, “Anyone who owns a business or works for a company which markets to other businesses needs to be here,” says Katie Zombeck, the marketing director for

Educational seminars throughout the day offer valuable information for business owners, and new this year is Monster Racing for NASCAR fans. Take a ride on the Monster Mile, otherwise known as the Dover International Speedway, where fans can drive a real stock car to experience real exhilaration. Monster Racing will donate this year’s expo grand prize giveaway: two gift certificates and one 10-lap drive around the Monster Mile.

Fifth Annual Bug & Bud Festival
April 26, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Downtown Milford
Downtown Milford will be aflutter with color, entertainment, vendors, demonstrations, arts and crafts, kite flying, moon bouncing, train rides, games and more when the town celebrates Arbor Day and the anniversary of the naming of our state insect.

Spotted ladybugs will parade along Mispillion Riverwalk, led by grand marshals Dan and Rhonda Bond of the Ladybug Shop, beginning at 10 a.m. An Arbor Day proclamation by Mayor Ronnie Rogers will follow at 10:30 a.m.

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Two thousand seedling trees donated by city arborist Bill Pike will be given to festival goers, and Abbott’s Mill Nature Center will host a snake and reptile show.

More nature-themed events are added each year, and recycling bins will help to make the 2008 festival a little greener. New this year is Friday night entertainment, made possible by Wilmington Trust. The Stoney Run String Band will play bluegrass in the outdoor library amphitheater along the Riverwalk beginning at 6 p.m.

In 1974 19 second graders from Lulu Ross Elementary School, with the help of teacher Mollie Brown-Rust, petitioned state legislators to name the ladybug Delaware’s state bug. Today ladybug lovers from across Delaware celebrate the ladybug at this annual festival.

The event is managed by Downtown Milford, Inc. and Milford Parks & Recreation. For more information, call 839-1180 or visit

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The 75th Old Dover Days
May 2-4
Downtown Dover
Old Dover Days began as a house and garden tour orchestrated by Mabel Lloyd Fisher Ridgely and the Dover Garden Club, which used the proceeds for tree plantings and beautification. Since that day 75 years ago, the event has evolved into an annual community festival. Sponsored by the City of Dover and Wilmington Trust, the celebration still includes the traditional Maypole dance, but it also offers a wider array of activities and attractions.

The fun begins with the Arty Gras block party in downtown Dover on Friday night. The festival continues Saturday with a parade, craft fair, historic reenactments, walking tours and a grand ball at the newly renovated State House. Sunday brings a delightful house and garden tour and tea. Events wrap up with a performance by the Dover Symphony at the Schwartz Center on Loockerman Street.

For more, go to Craft vendors and parade participants may contact Kent County Tourism at or (800) 233-5368 for an application.

The 55+ Expo
May 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino

Want to learn more about the goods and services offered to you or your aging loved ones? Visit Dover Downs Hotel & Casino on May 15.

“The Expo provides a way for area business to market their goods and services directly to the fastest growing population in the state—the active 55-plus community,” says Sandy Dale of the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce. “With more than 100 vendors and seminars throughout the day, this event offers a great deal of information to the public as well as a way for the businesses to directly connect with them.”

Some vendors provide health screenings at their booths. Others, like Cajun Queen’s Cuisine, may highlight their catering services. Tour groups and senior centers across the state plan day trips to the Expo, which include lunch and a trip to the casino.

“We have live entertainment, door prizes, and seminars on fun topics like improving your golf swing, container gardening, travel tips and hobbies,” Dale says. “And Dover Downs hosts cooking shows throughout the day.”

Admission, parking and shuttles are free. For more, visit, or call 734-7513.

Wyoming Peach Festival and Peach Ice Cream Day
August 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fifer Orchards and town of Wyoming|

On August 2 Michael Fennemore, manager of The Fifer Country Store, will share 10,000 free scoops of peach ice cream as a demonstration of customer appreciation. Using fresh peaches from Fifer Orchards, Woodside Farm Creamery in Hockessin mixes up 455 gallons of the amazingly delicious stuff specifically for this event each year.

While you’re there, tour the orchard and eat a juicy peach of your own picking. For only a dollar, visitors can take a 20-minute ride on a tractor-pulled cart, hear some interesting history about Fifer Orchards, the town of Wyoming and, of course, the peach. Live music, a petting zoo for the children and more round out the day’s events.

Fifer Orchards is at 1919 Allabands Mill Road. For more information, visit or call 697-2141.

Head into town for the Wyoming Peach Festival, held at the same time as Peach Ice Cream Day. The event, centered around the old railroad station, remains an intimate, small-town affair—complete with peach dessert-eating contests—while drawing crowds of up to 8,000 people. Face painters, magicians, puppeteers and hands-on craft activities entertain the kids. Forty crafters offer handmade wares of pewter, jewelry, hats and more. The food will make you forget your diet for the day.

Fifer Orchards’ peach princesses past and present, the Dover High School Drum Line and Philadelphia’s Old Trilby String Band join in the parade down Camden-Wyoming Avenue at 9 a.m.

For more, contact Jackie Stokes at 697-3587 or Elaine Bilow at 697-7543. If you would like to participate in the parade, contact Jim Mason at 697-1033.

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