A budding success: Milford to celebrate annual Bug & Bud Festival in May

Spring has sprung which means it’s almost time for the annual Bug & Bud Festival hosted by Downtown Milford, Inc. in honor of Arbor Day, Milford’s Tree USA designation and the town’s history in helping the ladybug become the state bug of Delaware.

This year’s event is planned for Saturday, May 4 and includes all of the bells and whistles one might hope to find at one of Milford’s largest festivals.

“We changed the date to May from late April because of the later Easter break this year. We were concerned with school being out and kids being away on vacation. We rely so much in terms of participation from the school with music and volunteers, etc. It took lots of discussions. It was not an easy decision to make,” DMI Executive Director Murrie Zlotziver said.

A new focus in the kids’ zone with better organized activities and games will help ease the flow of the crowd expected to come out for the event.

“There’s going to be a whole new section. They’re going to have a variety of different kinds of games and activities. They can go from station to station. There will be several jump-houses this year, too. There’s a real big emphasis there,” Mr. Zlotziver said.

Craft vendors will be found throughout the streets of downtown Milford. Vendors last year include homemade products like soaps, candles, jewelry, woodcrafts and more. Craft activities for visitors will be available, too, from organizations like the Mispillion Art League & Gallery.

“I really admire people that create things. And I realize it’s just a small part of the overall festival, but that’s what I look forward to, looking for something unique,” Mr. Zlotziver said.

Community agencies will also have spaces this year, he assured, adding, “It has turned out to be this big community event and that’s going to stay the emphasis.”

The event kicks off with the traditional costume and pet parade, showing off some of the most avid festival supporters first thing in the morning. The parade starts at 9 a.m. and winds down the Riverwalk path from Memorial Park to the Milford Public Library Ampitheater where the winners will be announced, and entertainment is set to take place for the rest of the day.

Festivities, thanks to a dedicated committee backing DMI’s event, will go on through 4 p.m.

“It is a true committee undertaking. It’s not just one person that’s for sure. They’re all really important. I’m just kind of making sure the bigger stuff gets done,” Mr. Zlotziver said. “It’s a lot of work. We’re expecting to see 9,000 people during the festival. To give you an idea, the Ladybug Festival brought in close to 3,000 people last year.”

Events like the annual Bug & Bud Festival which is now in its 16th year help keep the community active and connected, attracting businesses and other investors to the area. “We always talk about what we have to offer [to potential businesses] and, certainly, the business climate and those kinds of things. It’s really important for potential business owner to get a feel for the community, because that’s really what you’re buying into, what the community has to offer,” he said. “Knowing that you have an active community that you’re drawing into town. . . the big thing for everybody is it’s one thing to get them to town, but it’s another thing to get them into the businesses. Big events don’t necessarily translate into people coming into the shops. This is one event that does it all.”

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