Come join in the fun, as Dover, Delaware celebrates the exciting history of our First State's Capital City! This year's Dover Days Festival proves to be bigger and better than ever—and you won't want to miss a minute of the many FREE festivities! Held on The Green and Legislative Mall, two beautiful outdoor parks in the historic downtown district, Dover Days unites heritage, tradition and modern attractions into a festival that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Now in its 80th year, Dover Days is Delaware's longest running festival that celebrates First State history — with more than 25,000 people coming from all over the Mid-Atlantic states to celebrate the weekend's events, May 3-5, 2013.
Springtime is beautiful in Dover, and Dover Days offers so many ways to enjoy it—in a weekend jam-packed with fun for the entire family. Get a glimpse of Delaware's enriching history, through huge parades, traditional Maypole dancing with children in Colonial attire, walking tours, major Civil War Encampment, free admission to numerous museums, and more. Immerse yourself in the ages through costumed reenactments of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and WWII. You can see the Governor's mansion first-hand. And enjoy all the excitement of the festival, with more than 200 arts and crafts vendors, delicious foods, live entertainment, children's activities, a hot classic car show, and more.
Every day at Dover Days is a new adventure you'll never forget! Make it your tradition to come out to this FUN, FREE admission festival, May 3-5, 2013, with your family and discover why it's not the same "Old" Dover Days—it's so much more!
For additional information visit the website at http://www.doverdaysfestival.com/
From Old Dover Days To Today
The History of Dover Days. As one of the longest running festivals in the state of Delaware, Dover Days dates all the way back to 1933. What started as a simple flower and garden show staged by the Dover Garden Club, has now become an annual time to remember Dover's heritage with community spirit and an entertaining festival of family events.
Celebrating springtime on a weekend in May, "A Day with the Storied Houses and Gardens of Old Dover, 1683-1933" showcased 20 gardens, and greeted visitors with quadrille dancing, the exhibits of antiques, and maypole dancing on The Green with costumed participants. As the popularity of the event grew, tours were given of the new Legislative Hall. A carriage parade led by the Governor and Mayor, concerts of period music, Governors Tea and demonstrations of old trades, crafts and games were added to enhance the festivities, which drew 3000 attendees by 1936.
Over the next 20 years, the festival was held annually (with a brief interruption for WWII), and by 1955 it became a two-day event, drawing visitors from all over the Mid-Atlantic states. In 1967, a major celebration was held to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Dover, and again for the 275th anniversary in 1992 - "Old Dover Days" continued to showcase Dover at its best in the spring, and offer visitors the opportunity to celebrate the cherished history of this nation's First State. With each anniversary, this exciting festival grows - attracting over 25,000 people to the multi-day event, and adding new traditions every year. No longer "Old," Dover Days promises to remain a treasured part of Dover's past - and future - for generations and decades to come.
At the heart of Dover Days lies The Green. The center of much of the action, and the home to many of the festival's events, this one-acre expanse of grass and foliage is a beautiful reminder of the monumental history of Dover and the start of this great nation. In 2009, designated as one of the "10 Great Public Spaces in America," The Green naturally exudes a strong sense of place that makes it a perfect setting for the Dover Days Festival.
Lined with over 300 years of historical architecture, The Green is an exciting public living space where people can come to celebrate the community and relax - at a place where history was made. The Green has been a significant part of Dover's heritage dating back as early as 1680 - nearly 40 years before Dover's original town plat was prepared in 1717. As the site of some of Dover's most historic events, The Green has bore witness to the passions of revolutionaries, the birth of the nation, and the deep divisions along Union and Confederate lines.
Today, The Green continues to play a major roll in fostering civic and public engagement, even as its uses evolve over time. As Dover's "outdoor living room," The Green is the ideal place for residents and visitors to come all year long - to enjoy the art, warmth, and beauty that not only is part of Dover's historic legacy, but adds to the special character and value of the community.