Make the most of summertime on the Delmarva Peninsula before the season draws to a close!
Secrets of the Eastern Shore presents a Month of Fun Days!

ahoy, mateys!

Break out the puffy shirts--the The Rock Hall (Md.) Pirates & Wenches Fantasy Weekend is Aug. 13-15. Think costume contests, re-enactors, sing-a-longs, grub, grog, etc. Lots of kids' activities, too. Details.

STORY: fight of his Young Life

During the dog days of summer in 1834, the teenager who would grow up to become Frederick Douglass hit rock bottom, his spirit and body broken by the cruelties of slavery. And yet, somehow, some way, he picked himself up and put up "The Fight of His Life." Read this excerpt from my book of "Underground Railroad Journeys" on Delmarva.


The Furnacetown historic site near Snow Hill, Md. is throwing a Renaissance Faire the weekend of Aug. 21-22. Period musicians and dancers, plus merchants, food court, kids' games, and more. Details.

reef Builders!  

Join the volunteers working with ShoreRivers to help build "oyster reef balls" that will serve as underwater habitat in the Choptank River. Sessions Aug. 7-8 in Easton, Md. and Aug. 19-20 in Cambridge, Md. Details.

The tall ships and cool cruises of august

• The Nao Santa Maria (pictured) will be docked in Ocean City, Md. at 3rd Street and Bay, Aug. 12-Sept. 5. Yup, that's a replica of the famed Christopher Columbus voyage. Details.
• Another magnificent replica tall ship, the Kalmar Nyckel, will be offering public sails out of New Castle, Del., Aug. 7-14 and Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4-6. Details.
• Go "Dolphin Watching" with a naturalist from the nonprofit MERR Institute--four dates available in August, departing from Lewes, Del. aboard the Cape Water Taxi. Details.
• Climb aboard Captain Phil Gootee's 42-foot charter boat on Sun., Aug. 29 as he wanders the Bay visiting five lighthouses and several former lighthouse sites on an eight-hour cruise departing from the lower reaches of Dorchester County, below Cambridge, Md. Details.
• The Pride of Baltimore II replica clipper ship will be docked at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. the weekend of Aug. 7-8. No public sails as far as I can tell, but dock tours are happening. Details.

BUll Run!

The ridiculous Running of the Bull returns to Dewey Beach, Del. on Sat., Aug. 21. This takeoff on the storied tradition in Pamplona, Spain involves a couple of goofballs in a cheesy bull costume chasing people down the beach. There is drinking involved. Music, too. Details.

story: after the storm

Eighty-eight years ago this month, a hurricane for the ages rolled through Ocean City, Md., causing a slew of damage and flooding. But ironically, that event helped lead to the creation of the resort town we know and love today. Find out why here.


Harrington, Del. celebrates Heritage Day on Sat., Aug. 28. Parade, old-school artisan demos, vendors, food, more. Three museums will be open, so you'll find be able to learn about the old train station pictured here. Details.

go-go on pine!

Year in and year out, fans of old-school DC go-go music flock to historic Pine Street in Cambridge for the Groove City Culture Fest. This year's go-go headliner is the Junkyard Band. The event is Sat., Aug. 21. 

A larger festival stretches across several blocks that are rich in African-American history. Vendors, DJs, and local performers are on the bill, too. Details.

Traditions! Decoys, shipwrights, crab pots

• The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art is throwing its Delmarvalous Festival on Sat., Aug. 14. Meet decoy carvers and explore other regional arts. Details.
• Head to the Dover (Del.) Green on Sat., Aug. 21 to learn about old-school carpentry and shipbuilding from artisan Gabe Christy. He'll be dressed straight out of the 1800s. Details.
• Among the August talks in the Tuesday night lecture series at the Museum of Chincoteague is "Making Crab Pots" by Andy Linton. Aug. 24. Details.
• Head to the Wylder Hotel on Tilghman Island, Md. to hear tales from waterman days gone by. Capt. Alan Faulkner is holding court out by the main fire pit every Friday and Saturday. Details.
• If you are in the mood for modern-day waterman fun, take the ride along the backroads  to the Taylors Island (Md.) Boat Docking Competition at Slaughter Creek Marina on Sun., Aug. 29. Details.

band happy! 

These two downtown festivals are heavy on the tunes:
• The Caroline Summerfest in Denton, Md. on Aug. 20-21 has vendors, family fun, a car show, and more on top of a slew of bands. Details.
• Smyrna at Night has 34 music acts over two days, Aug. 27-28. Friday is organized as a music crawl and happy-hour extravaganza. Saturday is an all-day multi-stage music fest. Details.


Old-time farm traditions will be front and center at the Wheat Threshing, Steam & Gas Engine Show along the backroads of Caroline County, Md. on the weekend of Aug. 6-8. The event is celebrating its 61st birthday this year. Details.

weighing in!

The White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Md. is the world's largest, richest billfish tournament. More than 3,000 anglers competed for $7 million in prize money last year. Here is the event website. And here is info on a new-this-year way spectators can watch the weigh-ins while enjoying food, drink, and music in a bayside park. Runs through Aug. 7.

August gems

• Serenity: A new day at Rehoboth.
Deadrise bathed in golden light.
• Wait, Annie Oakley said what?!?
• Follow Jill Jasuta Photography on Facebook and/or Instagram.

The TUNES of August: Jazz, soul, country, more

• The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival runs Aug. 4-8 at Rodney Square in Wilmington, Del. Dianne Reeves is headlining on Friday. Details.
• The new Jazz on the Narrows festival will be held at the Kent Island Yacht Club the weekend of Aug. 13-15. Pieces of a Dream is headlining on Saturday. Details.
• The Jazz Alive concert series brings a trio of jazz guitarists--Jan Knutson, Steve Abshire, and Steve Herberman--to Easton, Md. on Sat., Aug. 21 in a show titled "Great Guitars: DC Edition." Details.
• If you love the music of George Clinton and Funkadelic, don't miss the fun tribute band Clones of Funk in an outdoor street show in Easton, Md. on Sat., Aug. 7. Details.
• Bring your dancing shoes to Cape Charles, Va. on Sat., Aug 14 when Hoppie Vaughn and the Ministers of Soul (pictured lower left) perform in Central Park. Details.
• Find your way to Greensboro, Md. on Friday, Aug. 13 to enjoy an outdoor show by River & Rhodes. Food and beer trucks, too. Details.
• Tickets are now on sale for country superstar Brad Paisley (pictured upper left) performing on the beach in Ocean City, Md. on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5. Details.
• DC jazz singer Hazel Mitchell Bell will perform with Vince Evans in the shadow of the magnificent Harriet Tubman mural in downtown Cambridge, Md. on Sat. Aug. 14. Details.
• The August lineup at Freeman Stage in Selbyville, Del. is worth a look. Think Steve Earle and Los Lobos; the Commodores; The Beach Boys; Melissa Etheridge; Sonia De los Santos Trio; and Tiempo Libre Bohemia. Details.

eat & Drink!

• On Kent Island, Md. the first-ever Bikes & Beers event on Sat., Aug. 14 offers cycling routes of various lengths, all ending in in a party with craft brews and live music. Details.
• The Delaware Beer, Wine & Spirits Festival will be held on Sat., Aug. 28 at the Delaware Agricultural Museum just north of Dover. Details.
• The all-you-can-eat Crab Crackin' bash is coming up at Ker Place in Onancock, Va. on Sat., Aug 21 Details.

get reel!

Videos from my "Throwback Thursday" bits on WBOC-TV's "Delmarva Life":
• "What Might Have Been"--early plans for a Chesapeake Bay bridge that never came to reality. Watch.
• In the icy winter of 1912, everyone was convinced the people of Holland Island were freezing to death. Watch.
• The Noxzema Connection: Did Ocean City's first doctor really invent the famous skin cream? Watch.

coming soon: Revival SBY!

Downtown Salisbury is about to get a sleek new performance space called Revival offering music, comedy, and more. Opening night hasn't been set yet, but the stage floor is painted, the lights are going in, and they say they're getting close to ready.
Follow them on Facebook.
Check out their website.

All revved Up!

• The car show in Georgetown, Del. on Sat., Aug. 7 benefits independent-living support for older adults. Details.
• Jeep Week returns to Ocean City, Md. Aug. 26-29. Early morning "beach crawls" are part of the deal. Details.

past perfect: best of the way back machine

• Happy 162nd birthday to Fenwick Island Lighthouse--plus, a photo from 1891.
• Mary Clark rides her bike along Main Street in Pittsville, Md., 1912.
• A watermelon barge on the Nanticoke River at Seaford, Del.
• The fox trot arrives on Smith Island, Md., sparking a moral panic.
• The first little railroad station in Ocean City, Md., 1890 (pictured).
• The loneliness of the lighthouse keeper, 1909
• Two ladies having a grand laugh at the Talbot County (Md.) Fair in 1898.
Fire on the Fourth of July in Denton, Md., 1865.
• An Independence Day bash in Kitts Hummock, Del., 1879

story: stunned in vienna

"Astonishment & alarm:" Those were the reactions of the people of Vienna, Md. to the arrival along the Nanticoke River in the 1790s of a 69-foot merchant schooner. The vessel was captained by famed mariner Paul Cuffee, and white folks there had never before seen a black man in charge of such a ship. Find out what happened next.

coming soon: crash boat!

Only one 85-foot World War II-era crash boat is still afloat: The P-520 that used to speed out to search for downed aircraft pilots and crew members during World War II and Korea is now undergoing a few final repairs before it launches a new life out of Cambridge, Md. Plans call for occasional public cruises and dock visits there, plus stops at waterfront festivals around the Chesapeake. Follow this boat's plans on Facebook. Learn more about crash boats here and here.

mind games!

See if you get to be one of the lucky audience members who get a past life reading from psychic Mandie Stevenson at the Milton (Del.) Theatre on Sun., Aug. 15. Details.

board games

The World Championships of Skimboarding will happen in Dewey Beach, Del. on the weekend of Aug. 13-15. If you want to watch, head toward Bellevue Street. Details.


Get animeted at the Dover ComicCon on Sat., Aug. 14. Artists, vendors, entertainers, and much more will be set up along Loockerman Street downtown and running all the way over to the Green at the state capitol. Details.


Join in the Unicorn Quest in North East, Md. on the afternoon of Sat., Aug. 14. Family-friendly festival atmosphere, plus a treasure hunt for mermaid-, faerie-, and unicorn-themed items in local stores. Details.

History: Camp Meetings, Indian Times, More

• Celebrate "Legacy Day" in Chestertown, Md. on the weekend of Aug. 20-21. Aretha Franklin tribute concert, ceremonies honoring local athletes, a genealogy workshop, more. Details.
• Learn about the life of a free black family in the early 1800s from archeologists and historians who've been looking into the "Charles Tilton Site" located inside of what is now Killens Pond State Park near Felton, Del. Sat., Aug. 7. Details.
• On Thurs., Aug. 19, take a guided tour of the Bethesda Church (pictured) that stood at the center of life in the little community that once lived in what is now Trap Pond State Park near Laurel, Del. Details.
• On Wed., Aug. 11, learn about the religious roots of Rehoboth Beach, Del. in an open-house event at the Anna Hazard Tent House, a remnant of camp-meeting days gone by. Details.
• The interesting little Oxford (Md.) Museum is now open again--Fridays through Mondays, 10-4. Details.
• In collaboration with the Washington College Food Initiative, the Adkins Arboretum near Ridgely, Md. is now offering educational materials devoted to the importance of native plants to the food and medicine traditions of the region's Indian tribes. Details.
• In a webinar on Thurs., Aug. 26, Delaware Historical and Cultural Affairs will present historic interpreter Steven Mumford discussing the life and War of 1812 naval career of Delawarean Thomas Macdonough. Details.

beach art!

• It's the 48th time around for the big Rehoboth Beach (Del.) Outdoor Fine Art & Fine Craft Show, Aug. 7-8 and Aug. 14-15. Details.
• ArtX weekend in Ocean City, Md. on Aug. 21-22 will showcase local and regional artists, but you can also sign for workshops and maybe create a work of your own. Details.
• Plein air painters will be out in force in Ocean City, Md., Aug. 12-15. Details.

fair play!

• The Queen Anne's County Fair is Aug. 9-14 at the 4-H Park near Centreville, Md. Details.
• The combined fair for Caroline and Dorchester counties will be held at the 4-H Park near Denton, Md., Aug. 4-7. Details.
• The Wicomico County Fair will be held in Salisbury, Md. on the weekend of Aug. 20-22. Details.
• Little Sharptown has its big Firemen's Carnival starting Aug. 5 and running to Aug. 28. The town is off of Route 50 near where it crosses the Nanticoke River. Details.

croaker tourney!

The Onancick (Va.) Fire Department is putting on its 5th annual "Croaker Classic Fishing Tournament" on Sat., Aug. 14. Details.

bargain hunting!

Wander downtown Milton, Del. to find "Bargains on the Broadkill" from 30-plus vendors on Sat., Aug. 28. Live music and food trucks, too. Details.

Get Spooked!

On Sun., Aug. 15, Rockwood Park & Museum in Wilmington, Del is offering a talk and tour centered on the various investigations that have been conducted into ghostly activity at historic Rockwood Mansion. Details.

newbie: Park at the crossing 

The next time you are heading through Seaford, Del., take a detour to check out the new Nanticoke Crossing Park, a 41-acre affair with bits of forest, marshland, and shoreline. Located near the historic Woodland Ferry crossing (at Woodland Ferry Road and Dot Avenue), the park was developed on a former trailer-park site in a partnership between the Chesapeake Conservancy and the Sussex County Land Trust. Details.

life's a Peach 'round here in August!

• The Peach Festival at the Taylor House Museum in Berlin, Md. is Sat., Aug. 7. Details.
• The Peach Festival in Sudlersville, Md. is also Sat., Aug. 7. Live music, food, local crafts, more. Details.
• One more on Sat., Aug. 7: The Wyoming (Del.) Peach Festival will be held along the town's old main drag of Railroad Avenue. Details.
• The Preston (Md.) Peach Festival will be held on Sat., Aug. 14 at Bethesda United Methodist Church. Details.
• Alas, the biggest yearly peach festival of them all, in Middletown, Del. got canceled because the pandemic got in the way of planning.


Every Thursday in August, the Delaware Botanic Gardens in Sussex County is running a family-friendly event in which a guide leads visitors through the gardens while teaching about the lives butterflies and pointing out various species along the way. Details.


• At Paddlefest at Delaware Seashore State Park near Rehoboth Beach on Sat., Aug. 28, you'll make 4.5-mile paddle run, then head over to the big after-party. Details.
• Take a guided three-mile kayak tour with birding experts along Broad Creek near Laurel, Del. Wed., Aug. 25, Sat., Aug. 28, And Thurs., Sept. 9. Details.
• Join a guide for a paddle through the bald cypress forest at Trap Pond State Park near Laurel, Del. Last time I looked, there were nine trips this month, but three were already sold out. Details.

The end in Georgetown

I hope to make time in the coming weeks to write up the history of the Brick Hotel on the Circle in Georgetown, Del. For now, I just wanted to share the sad news that it is closing later this month. Here is a news story. Here is a little history from the hotel website.


Thank you for spending some time with this issue! And for your support of the Secrets of the Eastern Shore books, greeting cards, and photo prints we sell to keep the operation afloat. As always, please feel free to forward this to friends and family who might find it interesting. See you next month!
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