Where’s the Fire?

Delaware Historical Society’s “Smoke Eaters” exhibit is, well, hot. Plus, shuck oysters and peel shrimp for a good cause in Sussex and toon in as the DSO takes on that wascally wabbit.

Photograph courtesy of the Delaware Historical Society“Smoke Eaters! Firefighters in Delaware,” at the Delaware Historical Society, is a smokin’ exhibit that runs through February 9.

The display demonstrates how Delaware’s professional and volunteer firefighters have put their lives on the line since the 18th century.

“This goes well beyond the history of the Delaware companies and spectacular fires in our state’s history,” says public relations director MaryLynn Mack. “It chronicles individual people who kept the companies going and the camaraderie that existed and still exists. ”

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Warren James, a volunteer firefighter for 43 years, is president of the Delaware Volunteer Firemen’s Association. He provided input on the exhibit’s design. “History is always valuable,” James says. “But this exhibit gives us an understanding of how effectively we can do the job today compared to the way we dealt with fires in the 1920s and ’30s.”

Pieces from James’ personal collection can be seen at the exhibit. But even he was surprised to see some of the paraphernalia, including a fire alarm that had to be cranked to sound.

Says James L. Cubbage, Jr., executive secretary of the DVFA, “Anytime you can get information out about fire safety, which this exhibit does, it’s always a positive.”

For more, call 655-7161, or visit dehistory.org—Maria Hess

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Photograph by Stephen King, Georgetown Fire Company

Shell Shock

Volunteer firefighters have set up Georgetown’s firehouse for the Annual Oyster Eat February 27. The floors are sprinkled with sawdust, and sheets of plywood lay under waist-high tables, ready to collect spent oyster shells and other detritus. About 1,000 men will consume raw and steamed oysters, eat boiled eggs and drink beer. Many will wear clogs and dance the Irish jig, an art greatly aided by said sawdust and other lubricants (i.e.: beer). At night’s end, a Bobcat bulldozer will clear the debris. And if you think the event offends the ladies, think again. The female-only Shrimp Feast in Lewes, held the same night, is even more raucous. The women may prefer wine to beer and disco to bluegrass, but the event is as gloriously politically incorrect as its male counterpart. For info, men can call 856-7700. Women should dial 645-6556.


Have a Ball

There are two things OperaDelaware fans have been pining for: post-show dinners and the return of the Opera Ball. The dinners were served this season. The ball returns to the Gold Ballroom at the Hotel du Pont February 14. The Opera Ball has not graced the scene since 1998, the year the Opera Guild disbanded. This year, with the founding of the Friends of OperaDelaware, producers will recreate Prince Orlofsky’s ball from “Die Fledermaus,” OperaDelaware’s production runs February 6-8. The Ward Marston Orchestra, which plays at Metropolitan Opera Company balls, will headline. “This will be the night people are treated like royalty,” says development director Carin Brastow. “The ball is the social heartbeat of Delaware.” For more, call 658-8063.

We’re All Ears

That wacky wabbit is up to his old tricks. See the Delaware Symphony Orchestra accompany Bugs Bunny as he humiliates Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam at the Grand February 28 and March 1. “The music is some of the best classical music ever written,” says executive director Lucinda Williams. “But you’re having so much fun watching the cartoons on this massive screen, you don’t even realize it.” The show is appropriate for kids, too.  For more, visit delawaresymphony.org or call 652-5577.

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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