Fabulous Fall Festivals in October

The Sea Witch balloon, the symbol of the annual Halloween parade, comes down Rehoboth Avenue. RON MACARTHUR / CAPE GAZETTE PHOTO

Last week we wrote the first of three blog posts spotlighting some of Delaware’s most popular fall festivals during September. This week we’re listing several during the month of October. All events taking place in southern Delaware and the Delmarva region are listed – and further detailed – in The Cape Gazette’s Fall Festivals Guide. We’ve learned about those in upper and central Delaware via online media and web sites.

Northern Delaware

  • River Towns Ride and Festival, October 1. . If you love riding your bike and appreciate beautiful scenery you’ll be a big fan of the 10th annual River Towns Ride & Festival. It begins at 9 a.m. and takes you along the riverfronts of New Castle and Wilmington and ends with a post-ride party in Historic New Castle’s Battery Park with live music, games, beer, food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • New Castle Hauntings and History Walking Tours, Fridays and Saturdays in October. If you appreciate wonderful historic architecture and scenic river views, you’ll love visiting the town of Historic New Castle. It’s especially pretty with the fall foliage and especially interesting for supernatural enthusiasts who take part in these walking tours of the town’s streets and alleys. Experienced guides will tell you all about known hauntings, Victorian death and funeral customs and crime and punishment in this town dating back to the 1700s.
  • Hagley Craft Fair, October 15 and 16. The Hagley Museum is one of the most popular historic sites in Delaware. It’s located on the banks of the Brandywine in Wilmington and is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E.E. du Pont in 1802. You’ll love touring the family’s mansion and gardens and taking in the restored mills and other buildings.

    On October 15 and 16 talented artisans from the Mid-Atlantic area will display and sell their fine arts, crafts and gourmet items. As always you’ll find arts and crafts in wood, leather, pottery, jewelry, fibers, metal and other media along with a specialty food market.

    Tickets are $8 in advance and $12 in person, and they’re good for both days. Your ticket also grants admission to the du Pont Family Home and Garden. You can also catch a shuttle to the Wilmington Brew Works Beer Garden during the event.

Central Delaware

  • Fifer Orchards Fall Fun Fest, September 26 to November 5. We spotlighted this last week but want to mention it again because it continues through October and November. This is a great thing to do with your kids and grandkids, with a corn maze, pumpkins and apples, farm games and great lunch options. Go for the day, or go several days. It’s located at Fifers Farm in Camden-Wyoming. Learn more on the Fifers Orchard Website.
  • Delmarva Folk Festival, October 7 and 8. Taking place at the G & R Campground in Houston, this event features a wonderful array of musicians, including Isabel Angela, Caroline Hermance, J.D. Webb, Bryan and the Barn Owls, Skribe, the Joe Balone Trio, Wicked Sycamore, Shafaat Khan, Stackabones, and Zydeco Jed. 
  • Ocdoverfest, October 8. Taking place in lovely downtown Dover, this three-block event will feature live music from Love & Theft, Tony & Jackson, The Mad Dabbers, and Fazes, featuring Greg Taylor. There will be lots of food and other fun activities. Visit the web site for videos of the top musical acts.
  • Open Cockpit Day at the Air Mobility Command Museum, October 15. If you’d like to celebrate military aviation and our service members you’ll have a great time at this event, where you can tour all kinds of aircraft. Included are an open cockpit bi-plane, a restored B-17, a combat veteran C-47 and Air Force Two (!), the official plane of many U.S. Vice Presidents. You can also check out flight simulators, the air traffic control tower and the museum store. 
  • Pumpkin Patch Sundays at Loblolly Acres, October 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. Do you have cute grandkids? Would they be even cuter sitting beside a big ol’ pumpkin they’re getting ready to take home? If so, take a day trip to Loblolly Acres – a destination in itself. Your whole family will have a super-fun day with pumpkin picking, a petting zoo, games and hayrides, food trucks, a cash bar and live entertainment. It’s only $8 per guest for all activities, and you can pick pumpkins for $7 apiece. 
  • Dark Dover Lantern Tour, October 28 and 29. If you want to celebrate Halloween in spooky style, take this tour to learn true stories of murders and encounter historical characters with sinister pasts connected to Delaware’s historic capital city. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to each tour, which begins at the John Bell House on The Green. 

NOTE: These are just a few of the many fun fall activities in Kent County. Get a look at many more by visiting this online guide.

Southern Delaware and Delmarva

  • Wings and Wheels, October 1. One great way to enhance a car show is to add some amazing and historic airplanes. That’s what you’ll find at this event at Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown. Park at the Marvel Museum at 510 Bedford Street and take shuttles to the airport, where you’ll also find WWII re-enactors, food and craft vendors and entertainment. 
  • Sodel Fest Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival, October 1 . If you love coastal cuisine and can afford a very special day (with tickets at $150 apiece), check out this event featuring gourmet food from local restaurants and award-winning chefs. It takes place at The Covered Bridge at Hopkins Homestead, located at 30249 Fisher Road in Lewes.
  • Lewes Craft Fair, October 1 and 2. This is a famous local event featuring artists from across Delmarva and the Eastern Shore, along with live music and great food. It takes place at the Lewes Historical Society Campus at 110 Shipcarpenter Square, where you can also tour several beautifully restored homes and other buildings dating back to Colonial times. 
  • Boast the Coast, October 1. If you already love Lewes, it probably has to do with its proud nautical heritage, which is celebrated at the 1812 Park right downtown on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. 
  • UD Coast Day, October 2 . You can continue your celebration of the coast at this event at the University of Delaware’s Hugh Sharp campus at the end of Pilottown Road. There will be many educational exhibits detailing the region’s rich environmental offerings along with food trucks from lots of local restaurants.
  • Delaware Resorts Fall Home Expo, October 1 and 2, Cape Henlopen High School. . We would be remiss in our efforts to be your favorite real estate people if we didn’t spotlight this event with exhibitors of decorating and home goods, with all of the most successful local real estate developers, and home-related financial service providers. 
  • Berlin Fall Cruisers Classic Car Show, October 8 and Berlin Octoberfest, October 15 . There’s so much to love in this beautiful little town with its boutiques and antiques and bistros . . . especially at this annual show of classic cars from the 50s, 60s and 70s. You’ll also enjoy lots of wonderful cuisine from 9 local restaurants. Take a day trip on the 8th and return the following week for authentic Octoberfest music, a sidewalk sale and magnificent German cuisine.
  • Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, October 13 to 16. This is another big event that’s been happening since 1990 to great acclaim from locals treated to some of the biggest smooth jazz and R&B stars. It takes place over several days at several different venues, including the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, Cape Henlopen Performing Arts Theater, the Rusty Rudder and Epworth United Methodist Church. Another special aspect is that many local restaurants and smaller venues will also feature the jazz artists for live music as part of the event.
  • Apple Scrapple Festival, October 14 and 15. Delawareans love their farms and have a special place in their hearts for scrapple! The best way to celebrate both is to spend time at this event. There will be a pancake breakfast, a food court with apple dumplings, scrapple sandwiches and other delights, carnival rides, a car show, a 5K run, a home decorating contest and other entertainment. Make sure you visit the web site for an accurate and amusing description of this beloved (to many) breakfast item!
  • Sea Witch Festival, October 28 to 30 . This is the biggest and most famous of all of southern Delaware’s October events, now celebrating its third decade. For three days there are beach games, a Costumed Dog Parade and a big parade featuring all kinds of floats and walkers dressed up to celebrate the Halloween season. 

About Christine Davis

Christine grew up in northeastern PA and served in the United States Air Force for 8+ years. She worked in the civil engineering career field and traveled to various bases throughout the world. After leaving the Air Force, she moved to Rehoboth Beach and finished her degree in Business. She became a REALTOR in 2003 and aims to make the buying or selling process as smooth and fun as possible while educating clients. Christine now lives above their downtown Lewes office with her husband and fellow REALTOR, Bill Davis, and enjoys owning the brokerage and assisting the agents and meeting all the new clients moving to the area. Christine and Bill's philosophy is to be #bettereveryday. Life is short, make it count!

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