Your handy-dandy guide to a whole month's worth of festivals, parties, tours, and much more on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Secrets of the Eastern Shore presents a Month of Fun Days!


Scrapple slings, skillet tosses, cooking contests & demos, car shows, street dances, a gazillion vendors, a home-decorating contest—the Apple Scrapple Festival is Oct. 12-13 in Bridgeville, Del., home of the famous Rapa Scrapple company, which has been operating there since way back in 1926. Details.


• The 52-year-old Upper Shore Decoy Show draws collectors and decoy fans from across the country to the sweet riverfront town of North East, Md. Oct. 18-19, in the local fire hall. Details.

• The Chesapeake Wildfowl Expo at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury, Md. on Sat., Oct. 12 features carving talks & demos, kids’ activities, a marketplace, and free appraisals. Pumpkin carving, too. Details.


Hello, oyster season--it's so nice to see you once again! Over on the website, I have worked up a guide to more than a dozen upcoming oyster roasts, festivals, and other bivalve-happy affairs during the months of October and November.

Here it is!

amish auction!

The 35th annual Amish Parochial School Sale on Sat., Oct. 19 is a humongous auction that draws thousands of visitors to a farm along the backroads west of Dover, Del. Quilts, furniture, antiques, buggies—just about everything you can imagine is available. Details.


• In Lewes, Del. the Boast the Coast Maritime Festival on Sat., Oct. 5 features numerous heritage-related activities & events in various parks and museums around town. Details.
• The family-friendly Fall Into St. Michaels, Md. weekend is Oct. 19-20. Yes, the Jack Russell terrier races are back on Sunday. Details.
• Tilghman Island (Md.) Day is Sat., Oct. 19. Boat docking, crab picking, oyster shucking, more. Details.
• The River Towns Fall Festival on Sat., Oct. 5 celebrates two cool towns, New Castle and Delaware City, Del. Bring your bike to pedal the 10 miles between parties in both towns (pictured), or sign on for a longer ride. Shuttle buses available, too, so bikes are not required. Details.
• The Northampton Agricultural County Fair on the grounds of an old school in Machipongo, Va. is chock full of kids activities, contests, antique tractors, and the like. Sat., Oct. 5. Details.
• The Hurlock (Md.) Fall Fest has rides aboard an old train on top of a parade, vendors galore, kids’ activities, music, etc. Sat., Oct. 5. Details.
• Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee is coming to the Georgetown (Del.) Wings & Wheels party, which is full of old planes and classic cars. Sat., Oct. 4-5. Details.

on the rails!

The Golden Spike Railroad Festival on Sat., Oct 5 in Parksley, Va. celebrates the history of trains on Virginia's Eastern Shore of Virginia. Music, car show, zip line, and more on and around the grounds of this little old railway station, which is now restored. Details.

color runs!

On many weekend days starting Oct. 12 and running through Nov. 3, you can soak in the fall foliage on a steam-powered ride through the Red Clay Valley outside of Wilmington, Del. aboard the old Wilmington & Western Railroad. Details.

culture club

• The Nanticoke Jamboree at gorgeous Handsell House (pictured) near Vienna, Md. on Sat., Oct. 12 celebrates aspects of Native American, African American, and colonial cultures. Details.
• The annual Italian Wine & Food Festival at St. Michaels is Sat., Oct. 12. Details.

fifty is nifty!

When I started this crazy thing up, it never occurred to me that I might draw north of 50,000 Facebook followers. Thanks a million! Here’s the Facebook page in case you’re not on board yet.

child's play: kites, fairies, wizards, and more

• Every time I stop by the waterfront Sailwinds Kite Festival in Cambridge, Md., I find myself in the midst of a sea of kids just about bursting with joy. Sun., Oct. 27. Details.
• The annual Harry Potter Festival in Chestertown, Md. is Oct. 4-5. Quidditch, potions class, much more. Details.
• Bring your wings to Fairyfest on Sat., Oct. 12 at Adkins Arboretum near Denton, Md. Fairy houses, maypole dance, elven warriors, an acorn tea party, more. Details.
• The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels has its annual Family Day on Sat., Oct. 12. Details.

tall ships!

• Two tall ships will be stopping this month at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels. New Jersey’s AJ Meerwald (pictured) will be on campus there on various dates in the window of Oct. 8-23. A Sunday sail aboard Lady Maryland is slated for Oct. 27.
• Plus, an early head’s up for you tall ship fans: The spectacular Downrigging Festival in Chestertown, Md. on the weekend of Nov. 1-3 is the biggest annual gathering of these sweet vessels around. Many of the public tall ship sails that weekend sell out early, so you might want to jump on it soon. Details.

foodie bliss

• On Sat., Oct. 26, Chatham Vineyards in Machipongo, Va. is having a spectacular release party for culinary scholar Bernard Herman’s eagerly awaited book about the food traditions of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Hors d’oeuvres and dinner are part of the deal, with dishes prepared by chefs from around the region. Details here.
• The book is titled A South You Never Ate: Savoring Flavors and Stories from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I have seen Dr. Herman give a couple of talks over the years, and well, I am very eager to get my hands on this one. Details on the book here.

road trip!

I will be headed up to downtown Easton, Md. on Fri., Oct. 4 to sign copies of my books and chat with visitors during an event at Vintage Books & Fine Art, at 4 North Washington Street, 6-8pm.

What books, you ask? These books …

The affair is part of the larger First Friday festivities, in which galleries all over town open new exhibits and host meet-the-artist receptions.

spin cycle

If the weather cooperates, the Spocott Windmill outside of Cambridge, Md. will be spinning away on Sat., Oct. 19. Lots more of historic interest on that site, too. Details. Photo by Jill Jasuta Photography! Get something of hers for your place at this link.

art attack: Plein Air, Studio Tours, & Art Walks

• The new Big Draw Festival in Milford, Del. runs every Saturday of the month with lots of creative activities for hands-on art activities. Fun stuff for kids and kids at heart alike. Whole schedule here.
• On Sat., Oct. 5, the Milton (Del.) Art Guild is sponsoring an Art Walk that has creative types showing off their work on porches, in gardens, and along sidewalks. Details.
• Up in Chestertown, Md. The River Arts Studio Tour (pictured) runs on two consecutive weekends, Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27. More than 50 artists are participating, so you might need both weekends if you’re determined to get ‘er done. Details.
• Plein Air painters will displaying their takes on the landscapes and water views of the lower part of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Oct. 11-12, in Machipongo, Va. Details.
• The prestigious Academy Craft Show put on every year by the Academy Arts Museum in Easton, Md. is coming up Oct. 10-13. Artists from all over the country are involved. Details.


Later in the month, I hope to put together a guide to Halloween events for the Secrets website. For now, you’ll have to settle for this schedule of 30+ guided ghost walks put on in various towns by my friends at Chesapeake Ghost Tours. Find your way to the calendar for specific townss and times.


• In association with a traveling Smithsonian exhibit, "Water/Ways," folks in Dorchester County, Md. have put together a strong lineup of events and activities focused on regional themes. Sails, talks, tours, and more. Oct. 19-Nov. 30. Details on all the events.
• If you are interested in the Sunset Yoga at the Lighthouse event Fri., Oct. 25 (there is wine involved), you can reserve a free spot by replying right here. I am organizing that with the good folks at the first-rate EbbTide Wellness Studio (pictured), which specializes in yoga, meditation, and acupuncture.

screen tests!

The Chesapeake Film Festival runs Oct. 3-10, with screenings at various locations in Easton and Cambridge, Md. You can check out the schedule of more than 40 films here. Some screenings are definitely of local interest, including films about the Conowingo Dam, the Chincoteague ponies, and two collections of various short films made in Maryland.

street food

In Denton, Md. on the evening of Sat., Oct. 12, you can enjoy an elegant "Supper at Sunset" in the great outdoors at a long table set up along Market Street in the midst of the downtown. Details.

bottoms up!

• The Brew N’ Que festival is in Cape Charles, Va., Oct. 4-6. Details.
• The Easton (Md.) Beer Festival is Sat., Oct. 5. Details.
• The Good Beer Festival is in Salisbury, Md., Oct. 11-12. Details.
• The Autumn Wine Festival is also in Salisbury, Md. location, Oct. 19-20. Details.
• More than 40 breweries will take part in RAR Brewing’s waterfront Dank Day festivities on Sat., Oct. 19 in Cambridge, Md. It'll sell out, so you might want to move on it if interested. Details.

'Tober stuff

• Cheesetoberfest at Fordham & Dominion Brewery in Dover, Del. is Sat., Oct. 19. Yup, the grilled cheese culinary competition is back. Lots of beer and music, too. Details.
• The traditional Oktoberfest celebration in Berlin, Md. is Sat., Oct. 19. Details.
• In Cambridge, Md., they will be celebrating Crabtoberfest on Sat. Oct. 5. Details.
• In Ocean City, the OCtoberfest celebration on Sat., Oct. 26 will bring more than 40 breweries into Northside Park. Details.


Wouldn't it be nice to send Christmas cards with an extra flair? Something that feels likes it comes from both heart and home? Something fun and creative? Something made locally? Something like ... this, perhaps?


• On Sunday morning, Oct. 20, historian John Muller will give a walking tour of sites in Denton, Md. associated with a visit Frederick Douglass made to that town in 1883. Details.
• That same afternoon (Oct. 20) in Centreville, Md., Muller will give a talk about the visit Douglass paid to that town in his later years. Details.

'Tober tunes 

• Rehoboth Beach, Del. is a mecca for jazz fans in October. The True Blue Jazz Festival runs Oct. 16-20, while the Rehoboth Jazz Festival is Oct. 17-20.
• In historic Sumner Hall in Chestertown, Md., there will be a piedmont blues show on Sat., Oct. 19. Details.
• The first-ever Shazizzle Music Fest at Blue Earl Brewing in Smyrna, Del. will feature 25 bands on three stages over seven hours. Sat., Oct. 12. Details.
• On Sun., Oct. 27, the Virginia Opera Company will be in Cape Charles, Va. performing various arias and duets at the Lemon Tree Gallery. Details.

fiber optics

The annual Fiber Fest at the Julia Purnell Museum in Snow Hill, Md. is Sat., Oct. 12. Details.

cottage industry

On Sat., Oct. 12, you can tour half a dozen historic cottages in Bethany Beach, Del. Details.

Title search

I am working like a dog on another book, and it feels like I'm getting close to the final title. Here's where I'm at right now:

100 Fun Annual Events on Delmarva

I am throwing it out there because I've learned time and again that you all are full of good ideas. Suggestions, improvements, and other feedback welcome by email.



Thanks a million for spending time with this newsletter--and for making it all the way to the bottom of an extra long issue! I hope it inspires you to get out & go this month. Please feel free to forward this along  to anyone you think might be interested in wandering around Delmarva this month!.
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