- Delaware festivals
The Big August Quarterly is an annual religious festival held in Wilmington, Delaware, and is sometimes called "Big Quarterly" or "August Quarterly." The festival began in 1814 by Peter Spencer in connection with the "quarterly" meeting (or "conference") of the African Union Church. Out of the four meetings during the year, the one in August became the "annual conference" of the Church when ministers' assignments for the next year were announced, among other business — it was a time for free blacks and slaves alike to come together (from the multi-state area) and celebrate their faith with singing, dancing, testifying, and feasting. It is the oldest such celebration in the country. Senator Biden's remarks on the significance of the "Big Quarterly" were published in the Congressional Record for 30 July 1981 (Vol. 127, No. 117) and for 9 August 1984 (Vol 130, No. 106).
The Delaware State Fair (also known as the Harrington Fair) is Delaware's only state fair. The Delaware State Fair occurs during the last two weeks of July. In addition to hosting the fair, on the Fair Grounds is also the location of a horse racing track, casino, and a Grand Stand. During the fair, numerous musical acts perform at the Grand Stand. The Grand Stand is also used for a Demolition Derbys, circus performances, and other entertainment.
The Delaware Sängerbund (German for Singers Alliance) holds an annual three-day long Oktoberfest. The Oktoberfest features carnival rides, German foods, and demonstrations of German singing and dancing.
The city of Wilmington is home to several ethnic festivals. The most popular is the annual Italian Festival hosted held each June in the neighborhood surrounding St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church. A highlight of the Italian Festival is a procession of the church's statues of saints throughout the community on the last afternoon of the festival.St. Hedwig Roman Catholic Church sponsors a Polish festival along the city Riverfront each October and Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church presents a Greek Festival at the church ground each June. These ethic festivals all feature carnival rides, ethnic foods and craft, and musical performances.
In Bethany Beach, the end of the summer season is honored each year with a traditional jazz funeral down the town's boardwalk. And at the end of October, Rehoboth Beach holds its annual Sea Witch Halloween and Fiddlers' Festival.
The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is a free jazz music festival held annually at Rodney Square in Wilmington, Delaware. The first festival was held in 1989 on the open lawn in the central area of the city and has remained free to the public. The event is held in honor of Wilmington native and respected jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown, who died in a traffic accident in 1956.
The Wilmington Flower Market is a held each May in Wilmington's Rockford Park. The Flower Market is a three-day long festival which serves as a fundraiser for charitable organizations which benefit Delaware's children.
The weekend after Halloween, Sussex County is the location of the annual Punkin Chunkin, where pumpkins are shot from devices such as air-powered cannons, trebuchets, catapults, and various other contraptions. The performance of various styles and classes of devices is supplemented by food booths and musical performances.
During the second weekend in October, Bridgeville hosts its annual Apple Scrapple Festival. The carnival centers around the preparation and consumption of apples and scrapple and also includes contests, live entertainment, a car show, a tractor pull, and craft shows.
On the second Saturday in March the Chocolate Festival at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center features chocolate made by professionals, amateurs, bakeries, and children.
A tradition that is unique to Delaware is Return Day, which occurs every two years on the Thursday following the November general election. Believed to be the only event of its kind in the United States, it is a continuation of a tradition that dates back to Delaware's earliest days in the 18th century. Festivities include the reading of election results from the Sussex County Courthouse balcony by the town crier, a parade in which winners and losers ride together, the roasting of an ox behind the courthouse, and the ceremonial burying of the hatchet in sand from Lewes Beach.
- ^ "See You at the Fair!". State of Delaware. 2007-03-27. http://archives.delaware.gov/100/ourtraditions/See%20You%20at%20the%20Fair!.shtml. Retrieved 2007-10-07.
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