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Maritime Day Celebration

From May 21, 2022 10:00 am until 3:00 pm

The Lewes Historical Society is proud to be a co-sponsor of the 2022 Maritime Day Celebration.

Experience and celebrate maritime history and its impact on the region at the annual celebration at the Lightship Overfalls on Saturday, May 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Lewes Historical Society, Cape May – Lewes Ferry, Zwaanendael Museum, and Overfalls Lightship, this celebration – complete with events, displays, vessel tours and activities – is free to all.

A brief remembrance ceremony to honor sailors who perished on the Lewes beaches, recognize departed members of the Overfalls Foundation, and to celebrate the opening of the Lightship Overfalls (LV-118) for the 2022 season will start the day at 10:00 a.m.

Other Maritime Day activities include a life raft demonstration by the Ferry, a water cannon display by the Lewes Fire Boat, and a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter fly-by.  The day’s finale will be "The Wreck of the DeBraak" Program presented by the Zwaanendael Museum, starting at 2:30 p.m. The program explores the history of the British warship DeBraak which sank off the coast of Lewes in May of 1798 only to be recovered by treasure hunters nearly 200 years later.

The Lewes Historical Society’s Volunteer Wooden Boat Build Crew will display two unique Delaware vessels: The Delaware Oyster Sharpie and the Delaware Ducker.  Additionally, Lewes Historical Society interpreters will portray unique historical figures from the De Braak at both Canalfront Park and the Lewes Maritime Museum at the Cannonball House, 118 Front Street.

Various maritime participants will have displays at Canalfront Park, adjacent to the Lightship, and various vessels will be open for public tours and boat rides. Some of the day’s exhibitors include Bowers Maritime Museum, Cape Water Taxi, Cape May Lewes Ferry, Delaware Bay and River Co-op, Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation, Fort Miles Historical Association, Freedom Boat Club, Lewes Fire Department, Lewes Historical Society, Lewes Public Library, Lightship Overfalls, Pilots Association for the Bay and River Delaware, Sea Scouts, University of Delaware, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Zwaanendael Museum

In 1933, the United States Congress declared May 22 as National Maritime Day.  The designation honors the contributions of the American merchant marine – civilians who have defended the freedom of the United States since 1775 and who executed the largest sealift the world has ever known during World War II. 


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