6th Annual Maritime Heritage Festival

Breeches Buoy

Museum completes new grant-funded exhibits; to be showcased at Maritime Festival

Sunday, July 17 from Noon – 4 p.m.

Rehoboth Beach, DE – Delaware Seashore State Park invites the public to the 6th Annual Maritime Heritage Festival at the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum.  Families will experience the rich history of the Delaware coast through crafts, games, prizes, food, music and demonstrations throughout the day.

This year’s festival will showcase three new or improved museum exhibits.  All three exhibits were made possible through the National Park Service’s Maritime Heritage Grant Program.  The Life-Saving Station was awarded $25,000 last year to put towards refurbishing the existing flag tower, restoring the 1914 Stieff piano, and purchasing a custom-made, reproduction Life-Saving Service beach cart.  To help celebrate the completion of these projects, guest speakers from the Division’s Cultural Resources office, the U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association, and Scott Ernst Custom Woodworks will be present to discuss how the grant funds were used and how the projects were completed.

In addition to showcasing the new museum exhibits, there will be plenty of entertainment for all ages throughout the festival.  Storyteller and musician Matthew Dodd will return to perform “Songs and Stories of Old Sailing Days” while dressed in sailor garb:  a show of historic sea shanty’s and stories sure to entertain kids of all ages.

The highlight of the event will be the Breeches Buoy Rescue Demonstration, performed by park staff and active-duty Coast Guardsmen, complete with live cannon-fire using a historic “Lyle Gun”.  Used as the preferred rescue method of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, this method assisted in saving countless lives from the late 19th into the early 20th century.

Between shows, participants are invited to check out the many local museums, historical societies and maritime organizations that will have their own displays and family-friendly activities. Activities will include a life-size board game, “sailor tattoo” face painting, 19th century colonial games, a raffle, and much more.  Food will also be available for purchase.

The Indian River Life-Saving Station is located 3.5 miles south of Dewey Beach and 1.5 miles north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge on Highway 1.  Admission to this event is free.  For more information, please call the Indian River Life-Saving Station at Delaware Seashore State Park at (302) 227-6991.