Cape May – Lewes Ferry Hosts Seventh Annual Maritime Day Celebration
Festival Features Nautical Activities, Remembrance Ceremony at the Lewes Terminal
LEWES, Del. – Experience and celebrate maritime history and its impact on the region at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry’s annual Maritime Day celebration at the Lewes Ferry Terminal on Saturday, May 12th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lewes, known as the First Town in the First State, enjoys a heritage that is rich in both its maritime history and its current maritime interests. The celebration – complete with events, displays, vessel tours and activities – is free and the public is welcome.
“The Ferry is proud to once again host this year’s Maritime Day festival,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations. “Lewes has a unique place in the annals of American maritime history and the Ferry is part of that history. The festival is a fun and interactive way to learn more about our maritime industry and its many vocations. Come and join us for a great day of activities and exhibits as we celebrate the U.S. Merchant Marine, its historic support of the Nation’s military, and the many careers it offers.”
The event will be held rain or shine. The 2018 Maritime Day Festival schedule of activities are:
10:00A - 3:00P Interactive Exhibits, Information Booths & Nautical Displays
11:00A Maritime History Discussions (J. Marcos Salaverria, Lewes Historical Society – “The Wreck of the Mary Rogers” and Dr. Gary D. Wray of Fort Miles Historical Association – “Fort Miles and Maritime History”
TBD Delaware State Police Air Rescue Team demonstration
12 noon Lewes Fire Boat Water Cannon Display
1:00P Remembrance Ceremony - Wreath Laying Ceremony at Unknown Sailors' Cemetery
2:00P Life raft inflation demonstration by Ferry personnel
A remembrance ceremony to honor sailors who perished on the Lewes beaches will take place at 1:00 p.m. As part of this ceremony, representatives of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and the Delaware Bay and River Pilots Association will lay a wreath at the Unknown Sailors’ Cemetery at the Lewes Terminal.
To celebrate National Tourism day, the Ferry will be offering free, same day round trip foot passenger passage to the Maritime Day celebration for Cape May county residents. A valid ID must be presented at the terminal ticket counter. After parking your vehicle free in the Cape May Terminal lot, board the 9:30 a.m. departure for Lewes. “You’ll have plenty of time to tour maritime vessels, survey the exhibits, lunch outside on the boardwalk and enjoy water front views and great food at On the Rocks,” said Yelena Kretova, Lewes Terminal Manager. “Then, catch the 2:45 or 4:15 boat back from Lewes and you’ll be home in time for dinner!”
Various maritime participants will have booths inside the terminal, glass skywalk, and (weather-dependent) on the boardwalk behind the terminal. Vessels will be available for viewing at the adjacent finger pier.
Some of the day’s exhibitors include the Lighthouse Foundation, Fort Miles Historical Association, Delaware Bay and River Co-op, Sea Scout, Pilots Association for the Bay and River Delaware, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla, Lewes Historical Society, Lightship Overfalls Foundation, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Nanticoke River Power Squadron, Bowers Maritime, Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware State Police Air Rescue Team, Cape Water Taxi, Lewes Fire Department, American Professional Mariners Association, Zwaanendael Museum, Junior ROTC, Bayshore Center at Bivalve, and ESI - EMD Power Products.
“On the Rocks,” the Cape May – Lewes Ferry’s waterfront eatery, will be open to serve food and beverages.
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. Observance of National Maritime Day also honors the maritime industry and the benefits it brings Americans in terms of transportation, jobs, goods, and recreational opportunities.
About the Cape May-Lewes Ferry
The Cape May – Lewes Ferry is owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962. The Ferry is open year-round and has carried more than 43 million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. In 2017, the ferry service, which connects Victorian Cape May, New Jersey, and historic Lewes, Delaware, transported approximately 275,000 vehicles and nearly 1 million passengers. For schedule, rates and other program information, please visit the ferry’s website at www.CMLF.com, or call toll free, 800-643-3779. Like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @CMLFerry.
PDF of Press Release
Lewes Fire and Rescue Boat at Maritime Day