First Friday offering up seeds of spring

From left, Wesley College Science Club members Osama Mahmoud, Kylea Lankford, Victoir Cahoon and Kris Roeske host a STEM event at First Friday in March. (Submitted photo)

DOVER — First Friday activities will bring a springtime attitude to downtown Dover this Friday, along with seeds and STEM, while a wide variety of musicians and poets will provide entertainment at stores, restaurants and the Dover Public Library.

Diane Laird, executive director of the Downtown Dover Partnership, which is coordinating the event, is excited that spring has finally sprung in Dover.

“We are celebrating spring!,” Ms. Laird said. “Many merchants’ stores now reflect their spring inventory and colorful display windows. A little rain is integral to spring, so if we see some rain on Friday, let’s just assume the spring flowers are simply going to be a little brighter in color.”

Seasoned gardeners and those hoping to become gardeners alike will be excited to find unique seed packets available free of charge in each participating downtown shops and restaurants.

The Downtown Dover Partnership received a donation of “slightly past season” vegetable, flower and herb seeds from the Charles C. Hart Seed Co. for the purpose of distributing to shoppers on First Friday.

The Dover Art League will again become the backdrop for several activities this Friday. Adding to the garden theme, children of all ages can decorate a small container for seed planting at the Dover Art League.

“Get your STEM on!” will be hosted by graduating senior Lily Neff and other students from Wesley College’s Science Club, a project overseen by Kris Roeske, who has been a lab supervisor and an adjunct chemistry professor at Wesley College since 2014. STEM, also seen as STEAM, stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, (Arts,) and Mathematics.

The Science Club will set up a table at the Dover Art League for elementary-aged school children and provide simple hands-on science activities and demonstrations.

“We get involved by providing the supplies and gentle instruction, so that they can have fun doing the activity but also learn a little bit about the science behind it,” Mr. Roeske said. “The goal of these clubs is science outreach. This is a multifaceted goal, but the overarching themes revolve around getting younger individuals excited about science in a way that is informative, hands on, and visually stimulating, as well as providing a certain level of enjoyment and entertainment from the experiments.”

Wesley students and other visitors to the downtown area are invited to use the free trolley to come down to the DAL and, while in town, see their musically inclined peers performing in several downtown shops.

Joe Conner of JMC Music Production will be back at the Art League. Alongside Mr. Conner will be singer/guitarist Earl Read and an expanding group of musician friends presenting jazz and blues.

Jerry “Crabmeat” Thompson will be featured in the “In Harmony” concert series at the Dover Public Library, while music will be provided for diners at 33 West, The Grey Fox and Governor’s Café. Musicians of many kinds and genres will be playing inside approximately 15 participating downtown shops and poetry readings will be presented to celebrate National Poetry Month.

Those interested in downtown history should also consider the Friday evening Lantern Tours of the Dover Green, which will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday and at 6:30 and 8 p.m. on Friday, May 3, on the next First Friday night.

From left, Lily Neff, Kris Roeske, Osama Mahmoud, Victoir Cahoon and Kylea Lankford participate in a STEM project at First Friday in March. (Submitted photo)

Visitors are invited to reserve their spaces by calling 302-739-9194. Opportunities will not be available to paint the community mural being produced at Wesley College this week, but will return during the May 3 activities and can also be arranged by appointment by contacting Joshua Nobiling at Joshua@joshuanobiling.com or at 302-736-2486.

“The Downtown Dover Partnership will program May’s event, which will coincide with Dover Days weekend,” Ms. Laird said. “We are excited for the D-3 (Destination Downtown Dover) to begin their outdoor programming and street closures in June, while the partnership continues to program artists and musicians indoors through the summer and into fall, ensuring First Fridays will take place, rain or shine.”

To get involved, individuals, groups and families are encouraged to use the free “hop-on hop-off” First Fridays Jolly Trolley Bus, sponsored this month by Post Acute Medical of Dover. The trolley will loop between the Dover Public Library, Wesley College, The Green, and throughout Loockerman Street.

Parking is available at the Dover Public Library, Wesley College parking lot E accessed from State Street, and all downtown non-residential parking locations are free after 5 p.m. A program of musicians and a Jolly Trolley Bus loop diagram may be found several days before the event at Tinyurl.com/DoverFirstFridays.

Anyone interested in being a Jolley Trolley bus ambassador, a roving event photographer, or to serve in other ways, including as an artist, dancer, or musician in Downtown Dover First Fridays should visit Tinyurl.com/DoverFun or contact Diane@DowntownDoverPartnership.com.

First Friday Entertainment lineup

(Subject to change)

Bayard Pharmacy — Mike Miller on acoustic guitar, singing Americana-themed pieces.

Bel Boutique — Ryan Schumacher and Friends from Wesley College, with Ryan on guitar, Becky on bass and Samuel on piano. From jazz to more popular tunes in the acoustic style.

BLUvintage — Mollie Raley Hall, singer/songwriter on guitar, ukulele and mandolin with an eclectic mix of mostly folk and pop.

Dover Health Care Center — Leilani Wall, singer/songwriter, accompanied by her 12 string Adamas guitar, featuring quiet ballads, classic rock to table-thumping Irish drinking songs.

Dover Public Library — In Harmony Concert Series: Folksinger, songwriter and educator Jerry “Crabmeat” Thompson performing blues and original music. 6:30 until 8 p.m.

Forney’s Too — Bill Trench, singer/songwriter on Acoustic Guitar, presenting gentle, inspirational sounds.

House of Coffi — Poetry reading from DC-based poet, editor and publisher Richard Peabody. Classical rock by Todd Stonesifer, singing and performing on acoustic guitar and harmonica.

La Baguette — Daniele Lundin singing casual acoustic, pop and inspirational music accompanied by her husband Michael on acoustic guitar.

My Roots — Deborah Doukissa and her Belly Dance Troupe, Dendarah Nar. 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Parke Green Galleries — Original artwork by guest artists Dick Chinery and Jim Rehak.

Puffster — John Bunts, combining the soulful introspection of a James Taylor, the storytelling of a Jim Croce, and a one-of-a-kind sense of humor, all filtered through an Appalachian sensibility.

The Delaware Store — Rick Hudson, singer/songwriter on guitar and harmonica featuring blues, old time country and contemporary pieces. Tom Smith will be spinning tales of historic Dover, including the 1881 Great Fire in the Capitol Hotel. Artist N. Taylor Collins will provide several poetic surprises.

The Loocke — Wesley College musicians Anthony Cinque on drums and Victor Rosas-Granda on trumpet presenting a jazzy mix of percussion and trumpet sounds.

The Wedding Boutique — Mike Nielsen, harpist/songwriter, featuring a soothing Celtic, Classical sound.

Simaron Steak Shop — Tom Hench, singer/songwriter on guitar/harmonica, mixed folk type storytelling, with humorous to serious overtones.

Zuha Trend — Bob Frazier & Friends, singers accompanied by guitar & ukulele performing an eclectic mix of tunes.

Enjoy various musicians while dining at The Grey Fox, 33 West and Governor’s Café.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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