Step, no STRUT! — into the steamiest 2016 summertime fun! Celebrate, explore and relish in some of the most happening local summer festivals in and around North Delaware — rain or shine, in chronological order. Enjoy music, art, food, brews, sweets, cars, rides, balloons, theater, and it just doesn’t S-T-O-P there! NorthDelaWHEREHappening.com delivers the ultimate summer festival mix. Mark your calendars. *CIRCLE BACK* The 2016 Summer Festivals Guide is here!
~ 2016 Summer Festivals ~
Richard Raw Week
Partnering with local organizations, Richard Raw Week features nine events including family outings, a symposium, a networking mixer, a documentary screening, concerts, and more! For more details, visit Richard Raw Week.
St. John the Beloved Carnival
One of the longest running church carnivals is back for its 50th year! The event includes classic carnival rides and games, and it features a different local band each evening. Food choices include the London broil sandwich, seafood, and classic carnival food, such as funnel cakes and fried Oreos. The carnival runs 6-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6-11 p.m Friday, and 5-11 p.m Saturday at the church grounds, 907 Milltown Road. To mark the St. John’s 50th anniversary, Thursday, June 9, is Alumni Night. #SJB50!
Holy Trinity Greek Festival
For five days, the parishioners of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church take you on a trip to the Old Country where you can close your eyes and imagine yourself in a Greek village dining on authentic Greek cuisine, dancing to live Greek music, and soaking in the scene. Families can enjoy vendors, games, and activities for all ages. For details, visit, Holy Trinity Greek Festival Opa!
Delaware Chamber Music Festival
June 10, 12, 17, and 19
The Delaware Chamber Music Festival includes four performances and a variety of works, ranging from Sibelius, Schubert, and Grieg, to Gershwin and David Finko. The concerts will be performed at the Music School of Delaware’s Wilmington location. For details visit, Delaware Chamber Music Festival
Weird and Awful Music Festival
The Weird and Awful Music Festival is jam packed with a slew of talent from all different genres including Pop, Alternative, Hip Hop, and Rock. Expect the unexpected at this weird… and awful music festival with a line-up catered to anyone who enjoys good music.
Separation Day in New Castle
Enjoy a Craft Brew Festival with live music and food trucks on Friday evening. Return on Saturday for a slew of family events including games, arts & crafts, demonstrations, historical reenactments, a Colonial BBQ Competition, live music, and fireworks! Celebrate 240 years of Delaware independence from Pennsylvania and the British Crown with your fellow First Staters! For details, visit Separation Day in New Castle
A New Night Downtown
Celebrate the beginning of summer in Newark on our Great American Main Street. Stroll from curb to curb, as the street is closed to vehicular traffic and our businesses and community organizations show off their best wares, services and foods. Musical artists will serenade attendees at seating areas scattered throughout the event, and our Parks and Recreation crew will have the best games for kids, as well as some fun activities and moon bounces!
St. Georges Blues Festival
Enjoy two full days of non-stop live music in St. Georges with Devon Allman headlining Sunday. There will be harmonica workshops, face painting, arts and crafts, and a session tent. Beer, wine, and food vendors will be on site, too.
St. Anthony’s Italian Festival
The Italian Festival offers a wide variety of delicious and authentic Italian food specialties. Experience a virtual tour of Italy during your visit by dining in one of our many outdoor eateries. This year’s theme will be the beauty and richness of Renaissance art and culture, which continues to inspire us even in today’s contemporary, hi-tech society. Enjoy food, music, rides, games, and fun at the annual Italian Festival! For more info, visit St. Anthony’s Italian Festival
Corpus Christi Parish Carnival
Enjoy food, rides, and games at the annual church carnival in Elsmere. Admission to the grounds is FREE! Enter to win $1200 in the raffle! Call (302)994-2922 for information. Come experience the fun!
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Family Carnival
Enjoy live nightly entertainment, rides, games, a cash raffle ($3500 grand prize), and more! There is food and a bar at the carnival with a wide variety of selections. Be sure to attend the carnival on Thursday night for the fireworks display! Check out the full schedule of events. Information on tickets can be found here.
Firefly Music Festival
The Woodlands in Dover will be transformed into a music-lovers paradise for the Firefly Music Festival. The 2016 lineup includes Mumford & Sons, Kings of Leon, Florence & the Machine, Ludacris, Of Monsters and Men, and many more! People from all ages and backgrounds will gather together for this four-day festival, camp out and enjoy sets from some of the best bands in the nation. For more info, visit Firefly Music Festival
Raidfest is the premier D.I.Y. Punk, Hardcore, and Metal Festival for Charity. Raidfest will be raising money for charities while melting your face with killer bands from the region and even Canada! There will be on-site camping (carry in/carry out), events, and raffles to complement the music. For more info, visit Raidfest
Clifford Brown Jazz Festival
The DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is a FREE, outdoor music festival in downtown Wilmington. This year will feature two side events: Sax in the City and the Clifford Brown Block Party. Get to Rodney Square in downtown Wilmington to enjoy the music and the family fun! For more info, visit Clifford Brown Jazz Festival
Chester County Balloon Festival
The Chester County Balloon Festival is a local event providing family fun for all ages. The Festival will feature hot air balloons, local bands, and 100+ craft and food vendors.
Delaware Taco Fest
Saturday, June 25
Delaware’s first annual Taco Festival is taking place at Frawley Stadium. You know you love Tacos. Your friends love Tacos. You know you want to eat more Tacos. This is the event for you and all your friends! For more info, visit Delaware Taco Fest
Little Barrel Country Music Festival
Saturday, June 25
The Little Barrel Country Music Festival is an all-day outdoor music festival loaded with bands, food, and drink that will be sure to get your summer rolling! This event is for charity and families are welcome to join in on the fun! For more info, visit Little Barrel Country Music Festival
New Castle County Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood
Enjoy “Delaware’s Largest Family Picnic” in Rockwood Park. The Ice Cream Festival features two days of vendors, live music, local restaurants, crafters, a “Robotics Zone,” and local creameries serving the region’s best ice creams. Meet players from the Philadelphia Union on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There’s even a free local shuttle service for your convenience. You won’t want to miss this!
Saturday, July 9
This family-oriented festival in Fair Hill features a host of kid-friendly activities including crafts, face painting, live music, learning stations, and more. Musical performers will be providing fun, family-friendly music that you and your children are both sure to love. At this event, you’ll get a rare chance to stay in the park after dark to catch fireflies. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight and your imagination!
Holy Family Summerfest
It’s time for the 13th annual Holy Family Summerfest in Newark! Join us for five days of fun and food on the grounds of Holy Family Catholic Church. All of the food is home made plus there are raffles and carnival rides and Texas Hold ‘Em and live music and more! Free parking and admission!
Free Reign: A Hip-Hop Festival
Come join Street Xpressions as we bring together some of the best talent from around the east coast to celebrate the impact of the hip hop culture around the world. The third annual Free Reign arts festival is will be bigger and better than the previous two and is sure to be an exciting weekend for all.
Rock the Mill Music Festival
Saturday, July 16
Join us for a family friendly music festival in the beautiful natural amphitheater at historic Newlin Grist Mill in Glen Mills. With a full day of music featuring a wide range of genres and musical styles, Rock The Mill has something for everyone. For more info, visit Rock the Mill Music Festival.
Delaware City Day
Saturday, July 16
The goal of Delaware City Day is to honor and celebrate the riverfront town’s historic architecture and its “small town America” culture. This will ultimately foster the continued preservation of Delaware City’s place in history, now and in the future. The festivities — which include live music, crafters, vendors, a parade, and more — are held in historic Delaware City along the waterfront in Battery Park at the foot of Clinton Street overlooking Fort Delaware. Fireworks top off the celebration.
Cecil County Food & Wine Festival
Saturday, July 16
Enjoy wine tastings, wine by the glass or bottle, great food, live music, shopping the craft vendors, and beautiful views of the Northeast River. Bring a chair or blanket to sit under a tree, at the water’s edge, or in front of the bands. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and tickets are available here.
Shady Grove Music Festival
Saturday, July 16
The Arden Shady Grove gets full and gets groovin’ during its annual summer music festival. Bring your happy family and settle in for an afternoon of great local music. Food and beverages are available for purchase on site. Proceeds benefit the Gild Hall Restoration Fund.
Delaware Shakespeare Festival — The Comedy of Errors
Delaware Shakespeare Festival presents Shakespeare under the stars on the lush grounds of Rockwood Park. Bring your own blankets or chairs, pack a picnic, come for the pre-show entertainment, and enjoy Shakespeare outdoors. For more info, visit Delaware Shakespeare Festival — The Comedy of Errors
The Ladybug Music Festival
Thursday, July 21
Join the fun in LOMA for The Ladybug Music Festival! It’s an all female live music festival and block party! (Of course, all are welcome.) The event is FREE to the public and runs from 5-10 p.m.
Delaware State Fair
Enjoy the best people watching Delaware has to offer! The Delaware State Fair is rich in history, with over 90 years of fair memories. Summertime in Central Delaware can mean only one thing: A glorious mash-up of deep-fried treats, live music, rodeos and demolition derbies. The Midway Slots and Simulcast, Harrington Raceway and The Centre Ice Rink are nearby.
Cecil County Fair
There is something for everyone at the Cecil County Fair. Highlights include the carnival midway, demolition derby, tractor and truck pulls, a professionally-sanctioned rodeo, and shows. There are also many competitions for 4-H youth and the public. Try the pie eating contest, cow chip toss, hay bale toss, big wheel race, 5-K run/walk, and more!
Newark Food & Brew Festival
Saturday, July 23
The 13th annual Newark Food & Brew Festival features craft and imported beers, creative cuisine, live music, and sidewalk performers. This event showcases more than 40 craft and imported beers paired with food from many of downtown Newark’s finest restaurants. Walk from restaurant to restaurant as musicians and balloon decorations line the street, making this one of Delaware’s most beloved summer traditions.
The R&B Soul Funk Festival
Saturday, July 23
Come to Rodney Square in downtown Wilmington for a music festival that will funk you up! The R&B Soul Funk Festival is being organized to honor Wilmington’s R&B, Soul, and Funk entertainers of the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and today. Expect entertainment for all ages and an evening full of fun, funk, and soul.
St. Catherine’s Festival
Dancing in the Park & Food Truck Festival
Saturday, July 30
Dancing in the Park is a FREE family-friendly event presented in conjunction with National Dance Day 2016. Individuals and dance groups will learn the National Dance Day routine and then perform as a large group flash mob style. The performance will be filmed. Dance along demonstrations will feature a wide range of dance styles. After the dance instruction stay to dance into the night with our DJ! For more info, visit Dancing in the Park & Food Truck Festival
People’s Festival 4Peace & Tribute to Bob Marley
Saturday, July 30
Since 1994, The People’s Festival 4Peace & Tribute to Bob Marley has welcomed close to 100,000 families from around the country in Peace, Unity and “One Love” to the first place, outside of Jamaica, Bob Marley called home: Wilmington, Delaware. This is a perfectly accessible venue for this family-friendly event. People of all ages can enjoy arts, literature, drum and dance, spoken word, face painting and other activities at our famed Children’s Village. For more info, visit People’s Festival 4Peace & Tribute to Bob Marley.
Stewart’s Brewing Company’s 21st Anniversary Outdoor Beer Festival
Saturday, July 30
Celebrate 21 years of Stewart’s Brewing Company with an outdoor beer festival featuring 20 local and regional breweries, festival food, and live music. Tickets are $35 (in advance) or $40 after July 1. Designated drivers pay only $10.
National Night Out
Tuesday, August 2
Newark’s public safety agencies band together to host a community event in observance of National Night Out. The free festival is set to run from 6-9 p.m. on Academy Street between Main Street and Delaware Avenue. Police will demonstrate motorcycle policing, K-9 searches, and field evidence collection while Aetna will offer fire extinguisher training and demonstrate how firefighters extract injured passengers from cars. Free hot dogs and live music will also be on hand. Attendees are encouraged to bring new school supplies, which will be donated to local children in need.
Riverfront Blues & BBQ Festival
The blues are back in Wilmington as the 2016 Riverfront Blues &BBQ Festival is gearing up to take place at Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park. The Festival is a 3-day, outdoor music and food festival held on the Wilmington waterfront. The longstanding blues festival has featured memorable performances from notable blues artists like Koko Taylor, Pinetop Perkins and Elvin Bishop.
Delaware Chinese Festival
Enjoy the exciting three days of celebration, family fun, and delicious Chinese Food at the 2016 Delaware Chinese Festival, sponsored by the Chinese American Community Center (CACC) in Hockessin. Come for the authentic cuisine, Chinese performances, folk dances, martial arts, and children’s programs.
Delaware Vegan Festival
Saturday, August 13
Come celebrate the vegan lifestyle with food tastings, cooking demos, speakers, natural products, live entertainment, and more! Whether you are a long-time vegan or just want to see what it’s all about, this festival is for you! There will be a Children’s Fun Zone for wee folk to enjoy. This is event is FREE and open to the public.
Middletown Old-Tyme Peach Festival
Saturday, August 20
The Middletown Old-Tyme Peach Festival is host to activities for children, a local artist exhibits, historical exhibits, a peach pie contest, crafts, music, food, games, and, of course, peaches! The Middletown Old-Tyme Peach Festival is a rain-or-shine event! For more info, visit Middletown Old-Tyme Peach Festival
Pawpaw Folk Festival
Saturday, August 20
Come to the Blue Ball Barn for a unique experience at the Pawpaw Folk Festival! We will make a day of music, story-teller fun, “down home” food, folk artist and Pawpaw fruit tasting.
Delaware Burger Battle
Saturday, August 27
We’re firing up the grills for the Annual Delaware Burger Battle. The Delaware Burger Battle brings together the best burgermeisters from all corners of Delaware to challenge each other for burger supremacy inside our Burger Battle Arena. More than 30 restaurants have competed for six trophies and statewide glory. For more info, visit Delaware Burger Battle.
Sunday, August 28
IndiaFest is a grand interactive multimedia festival showcasing Indian food, music, dance, fashion, and art. Vendors will also be selling wares in a traditional bazaar setting. Come to watch the amazing Bhangra and Garba Night perform traditional Indian dances.
The August Quarterly Festival Celebration
Celebrate the nation’s oldest African-American festival celebrating religious freedom, freedom of speech, and the right of assembly. The festival is held at Harriet-Tubman Riverfront Park and includes activities for children and adults. Come share the heritage, music, crafts, singing, stage performances, children events, storytelling, vendors, food, arts, African clothing, books, and more!
109th Arden Fair & Antiques Market
Saturday, September 3
Every year, the Arden Fair and Antiques Market is held the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. The Fair features children’s games and rides, handmade crafts by over 100 vendors (many of whom are local), an Antiques Market, used books (inside Gild Hall), plants, live music in the Shady Grove, delicious food and drink, an art exhibit, and more. Admission and shuttle buses are FREE!
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