Capital Celebration starts holidays in Kent County

DOVER — Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen and his city staff and partners, including Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, the Dover Public Library, and the Downtown Dover Partnership, invite the community to safely enjoy a variety of holiday traditions while perhaps creating a few new ones this year at today’s Capital Holiday Celebration.

“We’ve creatively come up with both on-site and virtual seasonal activities that will allow community members of all ages to engage at many levels,” said Judy Diogo, CDCC president. Most activities will take place from 2 until 8 p.m.

Beginning at 2 p.m. at the Dover Public Library, children will enjoy picking up their “craft-in-a-bag” where they can also drop their letter in a mailbox to Santa.

All are invited to bring nonperishable food items to benefit local food pantries to the truck on Federal Street alongside the library, through 6 p.m. Then join Mayor Christiansen at 6 p.m. in lighting the city Christmas treet at The Plaza in front of City Hall, either socially distanced on-site, or virtually on the Facebook Live page of partner pages.

Once the city trees are officially lit, kids of all ages are sure to catch a glimpse of Santa riding through the city on Loockerman Street between 6 and 7 p.m. 33 West’s Brandon Pelton will be at his new food truck “Gastro Graffiti” for dinner fare at the familiar corner of South Bradford and Loockerman streets.

The four-piece Fig Tree Band will be playing their signature instrumental jazz fusion “holiday style” on Loockerman from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

“We’re going to try our fingers on the instruments outdoors, even though we’re expecting some cooler temps. Either way, we promise to have live music on the street, whether inside or out!” said Jeremiah August, keyboardist for the band. Additional buskers and musicians will be placed in several shops, as well, including House of Coffi, Parke Green Galleries, and others. Visit https://Tinyurl.com/DoverFirstFriday for the full program.

Shoppers will enjoy the colorfully lit merchant windows decorated in the theme of “Holiday Wishes.” December’s merchant window theme supports the “Downtown StoryWalk” that features the book “The Wish Tree,” copies of which may be found at the library.

“‘The Wish Tree’ holds an uplifting message and is a source of great encouragement during this very challenging time in our ‘COVID culture,’” said Rosie Mujica, youth services assistant at the Dover Public Library.

Poster-sided pages of the book will be featured in downtown windows, and one page leads the viewer to the next. See https://Tinyurl.com/DoverStoryWalk for details.

Enjoy extended holiday hours on First Friday until 8 p.m. and shoppers should remember to bring or request their Capital Key card for promotions and discounts at: https://Tinyurl.com/CapitalKeyRegistration.

Keys may also be picked up at participating shops, a list of which may be found at https://Tinyurl.com/CapitalKey. (Note that not all merchants will be open late on First Friday.)

Holiday activities will continue in December with a new event called Dashing Through Dover, a volunteer-led, lighted vehicle parade, to take place on the evening of Dec. 12, that will begin to travel through the city of Dover limits at 4:30 p.m.. Brother and sister team, Katie and Sean Christiansen, who have coordinated the last several years of the parade, conceived the idea when COVID restrictions curtailed plans for Dover’s traditional downtown parade.

Visit Dashing Through Dover Parade on Facebook for more information, or to participate, request information via dashingthroughdover@gmail.com.

First Friday activities are subject to COVID restrictions and policies as enacted through executive orders issued by Delaware Gov. John Carney.

Here’s a look at other holiday events in Kent County:

Saturday

A Farmer’s Christmas: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village, 866 N. DuPont Highway, Dover. Runs through Dec. 19. For tickets, visit www.agriculturalmuseum.org., click on Exhibits.

Traditions of Winter at First State Heritage Park: 9 a.m., Rose Cottage, 102 S. State St., Dover. Learn how past Delawareans celebrated the festive season among the backdrop of a modern capital city preparing for the season. For details, call 739-9194.

Sunday

Smyrna/Clayton Reverse Christmas Parade: 5 p.m., Smyrna High School, 500 Duck Creek Parkway. Enter on the Clayton side parking lot.

Dec. 12

Ugly Sweater Trail Walk: 10 a.m., Brecknock Park, 80 Old Camden Road, Camden. Hosted by Kent County Parks and Rec. Park Naturalist will lead participants on a “winter-wonder-walk” through Brecknock Park. Ugly Holiday Sweaters are encouraged. This event is free event with limited space. Registration is required. Masks and social distancing required. To pre-register, call 272-9788.

Santa at the St. Jones: 1 to 3 p.m., St. Jones Commons Clubhouse, 132 William Chandler St., Dover. Hosted by St. Jones Commons Community. This is Children’s Arts and Crafts event that will also feature a visit by Santa Claus with photo op. Seating is limited to only forty children including parents. First come first serve basis. COVID-19 guidelines will apply, masks & social distancing required. View details on St. Jones Commons Facebook page.

Dec. 15

Santa Run: 6 p.m., Dec. 15, 16 17, Hosted by Magnolia Volunteer Fire Dept. Due to COVID, there will no handing out candy canes. Santa leaves the station promptly at 6 p.m. every night of the ride through. Spectators should line up at the end of driveways, the Santa truck will not be stopping, but Santa will wave and the sirens will be on as he cruises through the designated neighborhoods. To see complete route schedule, visit Magnolia Fire Dept. at www.facebook.com/mvfc55 or www.magnolia55.com.

Dec. 19

Blue Christmas Service – Healing and Hope: 4 p.m., Wesley UMC, 209 S. State St., Dover. A special service to encourage hope during the holidays. All are invited to attend. This service will also be live-streamed on Wesley UMC Facebook page.

Dec. 20

MLCC Christmas Cantata and Toy Give Away: 10 a.m. to noon, Marantha Life Changing Church, 1207 E. Division St., Dover. Christmas program and free toy for children in attendance. For more information, call 734-9510.

Musical Worship Service: 9:45 a.m., Hosted by Wesley UMC, Dover. A musical worship service live- streamed using music from various Christmas Cantatas. Recorded by the Wesley UMC Music Department. Event can be viewed on Wesley UMC Facebook page.