Don't let the last full month of winter get you down! There are scores of ideas in here to help you get out & go on Delmarva in the weeks ahead ...
Secrets of the Eastern Shore presents a Month of Fun Days!


• The World Championships of Muskrat Skinning highlight National Outdoor Show weekend in Dorchester County, Md., Feb. 28-29. Lots of other outdoorsy stuff. Plus, a beauty pageant. Details.
• The next day, Sun., March 1, the Crawfish Boil & Muskrat Stew Fest is in nearby Cambridge, Md. Don't miss the World-Famous Muskrat- Leg Eating Contest--yum! Details.


• The Delmarva kick-off party for various FebBREWary festivities is Fri., Feb. 7 in Delmar, Md. Unlimited tastings, a dozen breweries. Details.
• Stretch your drinking horizons at Brewery Yoga  in St. Michaels, Md. on Sun., Feb. 9. Details.
• Delaware breweries compete in the Beer Drinker Awards party in Lewes, Del. on Sun., Feb. 23. There will be a prize for “Best Beer Drinker’s costume, so get working on that. Details.
• Sample 30 local craft brews during the Love on Tap Beer Festival in Ocean City, Md. on Sat., Feb. 29. Details.


This Valentine’s Day, maybe think about giving the gift of special time together? By which I mean wandering the towns, beaches, and backroads of the Eastern Shore and Delaware? I can help with that here.

ice ice baby

Brand new this year! The Chesapeake Fire & Ice Festival is in downtown Easton, Md., on Valentine’s Weekend, Feb. 14-16. See ice sculptures, enjoy a fire & ice block party, sample stews & brews, plus more. Details.

music & movies in Black History Month

• The Salisbury (Md.) University Gospel Choir will mix readings and songs in an on-campus performance Fri., Feb. 7. Details.
• Track the “Evolution of Gospel Music” through a show at the Oxford (Md.) Community Center on Sat., Feb. 8. Details.
• The Rehoboth Beach (Del.) African American Film Festival is Feb. 14-16. Lineup and tickets.
• Local musicians will play tunes from segregation days in “Notes from the Green Book: Jazz to Motown” in Accomac, Va. on Fri., Feb. 28. Details.
• The wonderful American Spiritual Ensemble will be performing in Oxford, Md. on Fri., Feb 28 (details) and in Salisbury, Md. on Sat., Feb. 29 (details).


• The annual Death by Chocolate tour in downtown Chincoteague, Va. on the weekend of Feb. 14-15 involves strolling from place to place, gobbling chocolate and chit chatting at every stop. Details.
• On Fri., Feb. 14, the Caroline Culinary Arts Center in Denton, Md. presents “Chocolat: A Decadent Evening.” There are oysters involved, too. Details.

show boats

Do you miss getting out on the water? One possible cure for spring fever is the Seaside Boat Show at the convention center in Ocean City, Md. the weekend of Feb. 14-16. Details.


• The Ground-Dog Day Oyster Roast is at Cape Charles (Va.) Brewing on Sat., Feb. 1. Burning question: Will Cape Carlos the Min-Pin see his shadow? Details. 
• Enjoy oysters and Wine at Chatham Vineyards in Machipongo, Va. on the Valentine's weekend of Sat., Feb. 15 through President’s Day, Feb. 17. Details.
• Alas, both the Snow Hill (Md.) Oyster Roast and the Barrier Islands Center Oyster Roast in Machipongo, Va. are already sold out. You're going to have to get moving on those earlier next year!


• On Monday, Feb. 3, author Jim Duffy (that's me!) will be telling true-life stories of homegrown Underground Railroad heroes at the library in St. Michaels, Md. Details.
• I will also be giving that presentation at the library in Selbyville, Del. on Thurs., Feb. 20. Details.
• The talkes are based on my book, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva.

FOR THE BIRDS: Falcons, Owls, kestrels, more

• Learn about the sport of Falconry in a Sip & Socialize event Sat., Feb. 1 at the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center on Tilghman Island, Md. Details.
• Ride the backroads of the gorgeous Delaware coast while helping out with the Backyard Bird Count on Sat., Feb. 15. Details.
• Enjoy Owls, Stars, and Smores at the Abbott’s Mill Nature Center outside of Milford, Del. on Sat., Feb. 15. Details.
• Improve your waterfowl identification skills in a session at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge, Md. on Sat., Feb. 15. Details.
• An expert from Pennsylvania's famed Hawk Mountain Sanctuary will be talking about Kestrels at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville, Md. on Thurs., Feb. 20. Details.

bon temp

Celebrate Mardi Gras Delmarva style at the Chester Gras bash in downtown Chestertown, Md. on Sat., Feb. 22. Parade, followed by party with Cajun music in a heated tent. Details.

Love & Wine

• Enjoy Wine & Chocolate pairings on Fri., Feb. 14, at Chateau Bu-De Winery in Chesapeake City, Md. Details. 
• More Wine & Chocolate pairings at Crow Vineyard in Kennnedyville, Md. on Sun., Feb. 16. Details.
• Layton’s Chance Winery near Vienna, Md. will have Wine & Chocolate pairings on both Sat. and Sun., Feb. 15 and 16. Details.


In the “My Funny Valentine” show on Sat., Feb. 15 at the Palace Theatre in Cape Charles, Va., singers Una Harrison and Kemi Adegoroye (pictured) will perform love songs while you enjoy chocolates, champagne, and dancing. Details.

picture this!

This Valentine’s, maybe give the gift of gorgeous? Cherish this incredible place we get to wander in by way of Jill Jasua prints on canvas or metal, or as a matted print. Lighthouses, skipjacks, crabs, beaches: See 'em here.
Plus: there are goats!

talks & tours in black history month

• Several African-American-themed tours and talks are planned for the attractions on or near the Green in Dover, Del. on First Saturday, Feb. 1. Music, the Underground Railroad, an old barbershop, voting rights. Details. 
• National Park Service rangers at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center outside of Cambridge, Md. will lead programs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this month. Details.
• Historian Jim Blackwell will talk on Sat., Feb. 15 in Lewes, Del. about “African Americans on the Eastern Shore.” Details.
• See the one-woman show “Spirit of Harriet Tubman” (pictured) at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Md. on Mon., Feb. 17. Details.
• Walter Jones will tell stories from the young life of famed orator, abolitionist, and Eastern Shore native Frederick Douglass in Cambridge, Md. on Sat., Feb. 22. Details.
• In talks on Thurs./Fri. Feb. 27/28, Salisbury (Md.) University will explore “Delmarva and the Vietnam War: Legacies and Reflections of African American Veterans.” Details.

take A plunge

• The Polar Bear Plunge in Lewes, Del. is Sun., Feb. 2. Details.
• The Freezin’ for a Reason plunge in Oxford, Md. is Sat., Feb. 8. Details.
• The Freezin’ for a Reason plunge in Cape Charles, Va. is Sat., Feb. 22. Details.


More than a dozen bars, restaurants, and food trucks will be participating in the annual gumbo crawl through Rehoboth Beach, Del. on Sat., Feb. 22. Details.

lost island

On Wed., Feb. 5, Lee Newcomb will share stories about his great-grandfather and other family roots out on James Island, Md., which is mostly washed away and forgotten now. That is where the first sika deer arrived in our area, all the way from Japan. The photo here shows James Islander Capt. J. Everett Dean and his family. Details.

chicken shack

Perdue Farms is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. One special item on the company's agenda is opening up Arthur Perdue’s 1917 farmhouse on Old Ocean City Road in Salisbury, Md. for tours on Thursdays—please note that you will need to reserve in advance. Details.

web gems: shipwreck, Prohibition, and more

Here are a few of the most popular stories I wrote up last month on Facebook and over on the website:
• The dramatic wreck (and rescue) of the Sallie Kay off of Ocean City, Md. Story.
• Some muskrat recipes "worthy of an epicure" from 1943. Who's up for stewed muskrat liver? Recipes.
• This little girl got quite a shock back in the day on Fenwick Island. Story.
• The Death of John Barleycorn and the birth of Prohibition. A fun old newspaper story.
• The "Other Moses" finds his way to freedom from slavery in Talbot County, Md. Story.
• The Lifesaver who rescued a girl who fell through the ice on Cambridge Creek a century ago--and what happened in the generations that followed. Story.
• A thought about the gorgeous Sunrise at Blackwater you see here.

valentine FUN

• At a Sea Glass Workshop in Cape Charles, Va. on Sat., Feb. 8, you can make a pendant and a gift box for someone special. Details.
• The family-oriented Victorine’s Valentine’s Day Sat., Feb. 8 at the Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Del., will have Victorian-style card making and romantic verse-writing with quill pens. Hot chocolate and cookies, too. Details.
• Two Daddy Daughter Valentine Ice Skate nights are coming up at the Talbot Community Center near Easton, Md. Wed.-Thurs, Feb. 12-13 Details.

screen gems

• I visited with my friends at Good Day Delmarva on WBOC-TV to tell stories from Prohibition times on Delmarva. Link here.
• I also went on Delmarva Life on the same station to talk about the ways that the century-old Roaring ‘20s are still with us now. Link here.


The Nabb Center at Salisbury (Md.) University has a new exhibit up filled with photos of the area’s old baseball teams, such as the Crisfield Crabbers and the Delmar Railroaders. The Easton Yankees are shown here. Running on campus through midsummer. Details.


• What you see here is where we’re at on the cover of the next Secrets of the Eastern Shore book, which should arrive in time for your spring wandering! I hope to have a publication date pinned down by the time you get the March issue. Fingers crossed, anyway … oh, that “00” is there because I still have to count up all the subbested side trips, not because there are zero of them!

• As always, thank you so much for spending a little time with this. I hope it helps you get out and beat back those winter blues here in February. As always, please feel free to forward this to anyone in your life who might find it useful.
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