January's fun times and cool events on the Eastern Shore and in Delaware!
Secrets of the Eastern Shore presents a Month of Fun Days!


Calendars out! On the website, I've previewed 21 great events coming up in 2020. The list ranges from muskrat and scrapple parties to festivals honoring our farming, sailing, and hunting traditions. Yes, the fantabulous Blessing of the Combines (pictured) is in there. Here’s the link.

fire & ice

The Fire & Ice Festival (Jan. 24-26) in Bethany Beach, Del. is getting bigger this year, expanding into nearby Millville and Ocean View. Nighttime sculpture tours, live demos, cocktail contest, beach bonfire, and a closing “Ceremonial Smash Party.”
Details here.

all aboard!

If the hustle and bustle of the holidays kept you from going out to see model train displays last month, you can still catch one in Seaford, Del. (details here) and another in Delmar, Del. (details).

Both will be up and running on the first two weekends of January.

on the rink!

Lace up your skates. The pretty Riverfront Rink in downtown Wilmington, Del. is open through February. Warm up afterward at one of the museums nearby. Here is a link to the rink. And here is a link to nearby attractions.

past perfect: Stars, Harbors, Cookbooks, more!

• Meet the pioneering Delaware astronomer Annie Jump Cannon (pictured right) in a short theater performance that will be running all day on Sat., Jan. 4 on the Green in Dover. Details.
• Explore two centuries of transformation on Navy Point in St. Michaels, Md. in a talk by Pete Lescher, the chief curator at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Thurs., Jan. 30. Details.
• Learn about the history of gorgeous Indian River Inlet in a talk at Delaware Seashore State Park on Tue., Jan. 8. This link also has info about other entries in a series of Tuesday talks there. The photo below is by Jill Jasuta Photography; it's available in the Shore Store.
• Learn the history of Virginia’s storied Barrier Islands in a talk in Machipongo, Va. by retired conservation scientist Barry Truitt in Machipongo, Va. on Fri., Jan. 17. Details.
• Local food author Denise Clemons will talk about “How Cookbooks Tell Our History” at the Lewes (Del.) Historical Society on Fri., Jan. 10. Details.
• Watch the Delaware of 1903 come to life through the magic of old film footage taken by the Edison Company in a talk and screening called “The Almost Forgotten History of Brandywine Springs.” Mon., Jan. 27 in Wilmington, Del. Details.
• On Monday, Feb. 3, yours truly will be telling stories from the days of the Underground Railroad on Delmarva at the library in St. Michaels, Md. Details. That talk is based on a book I wrote.

for the birds!

The annual Winter Delmarva Birding Weekend is Jan. 24-26. Sign up a la carte style to head out on just one expedition or a take a bunch of trips over three days. The birding hotspots involved here are in southern Delaware and on Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore. Details.

pet tricks!

The juggling, comedy, and performing animals of the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater will be at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Md. on Thu., Jan. 16 (scroll to date for details) and at the Grand Theatre in Wilmington, Del. on Sat., Jan. 18 (details).

rope & ride!

The fun Lone Star Championship Rodeo will be making its annual visit to the Civic Center in Salisbury, Md. on the weekend of Jan. 24-25. Details.

hoot sweet!

Join in a guided “Owl Prowl” at Trap Pond State Park near Laurel, Del. on Fri., Jan 24. Scroll to the events listing here for details. There will be two guided Owl Howl walks at the Mount Cuba nature center in Hockessin, Del., one on Wed., Jan. 15 (details) and one on Wed., Jan. 29 (details).

live & learn: Boatwork, comics, meteors, more!

• Learn how to create your own comics in a class presented by PLB Comics in the Crisfield (Md.) Arts & Entertainment District on Sat., Jan. 25. Details.
• On the weekends of Jan. 18-19 and Jan. 25-26, you can work alongside experts at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. as they restore the tugboat Delaware (pictured here back in her working days). Click on the relevant dates here.
• Head out to Cape Henlopen State Park on Fri., Jan. 3 to learn about and view the Quadrantids Meteor Shower and other astronomical wonders in the winter sky. Details.
• A few audience members will get to learn what their future holds when the psychic medium Mandie Stevenson performs in Milton, Del. on Sun., Jan. 12. Details.

bloomin' magic!

Escape the drab days of winter by visiting the magnificent conservatory at Longwood Gardens north of Wilmington, Del. The annual Orchid Extravaganza is Jan. 18-March 22. Details.

spring fever!

Find a cure for that by browsing through the latest in fishing gear & gadgets at the East Coast Commercial Fishermen’s & Aquaculture Trade Expo in Ocean City, Md., Jan. 17-19. Details. PS: This photo of Smith Island waterman Barry Bruce is by Jill Jasuta Photography--go see more of her work at the Shore Store.

port penn!

Learn the stories behind this fascinating fishing village on the Delaware River in one or both of two Saturday sessions, a talk on Jan. 4 and/or a tour on Jan. 18. Info here.
PS: The old one-room schoolhouse shown here is now an interpretive center about the town's history. The start of a great trail through gorgeous marshland is right nearby.

local heroes! 

• On Sat., Jan. 11, DJ Big Don O’Brien (left) throws his annual Eggnog Ball for charity in Cambridge, Md. Details.
• St. Michaels (Md.) High School alumni are honoring native son and baseball Hall of Famer Harold Baines on Sat., Jan. 11. Details.

spice it up!

• Twenty area bars will compete in the Best Wings on the Shore contest at Crooked Hammock Brewery in Lewes, Del. on Sun., Jan. 26. Details.
• The fun new Blue Ruin cocktail bar in Cambridge, Md. will mark the anniversary of Prohibition with a night of 1920s-inspired cocktails like the ones these speakeasy revelers were drinking. Thu., Jan. 16. Details.

year o' the rat!

That’s what the Chinese zodiac says. Around here, that year’s arrival coincides with the opening of muskrat season on many parts of Delmarva. Dayton’s restaurant in Salisbury, Md. will serve our region's traditional 'rat dinners on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Jan. 7. Details.
If you prefer the stay-at-home approach, here are some cool old 'rat recipes from the 1940s. Stewed Muskrat Liver, anyone?

next one Up!

Here at Secrets HQ, we are cooking up another book, and it will be headed into the design phase in the coming weeks. Working title: Best of Times: 105 Fun Annual Events on Delmarva. As you can tell, we are determined around here when it comes to inspiring you to get out and about!

For those of you who are not up to speed on this stuff, here are the first three Secrets books.


Thank you for reading. And thanks, too, to all of you who helped make the 2019 holiday season our best ever at the Shore Store!
Feel free to forward this issue to friends, family, and co-workers who you think might enjoy it. Many blessings to you in the new year--and decade!
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