Free event organized by DNREC and the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve features hands-on learning activities and crafts for kids, face painting, canoeing, blacksmith demonstrations, Colonial-era activities, Native American demonstrations, artisans, exhibitors, hay rides, a guided hike, food and refreshments.

DNREC and the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR) will showcase one of the most natural areas in Delaware – which includes autumn’s vibrant foliage within the lush landscape and pristine waters of the Blackbird Creek Reserve – when the 10th Annual Blackbird Creek Fall Festival is held Saturday, Oct. 21 on the Delaware Bayshore Byway.

The festival will take place rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Blackbird Creek Reserve, at 801 Blackbird Landing Road near Townsend.

The festival, along the banks of beautiful Blackbird Creek, will feature traditional crafts and demonstrations by a blacksmith, hands-on learning including canoeing, lively music and kids’ activities including crafts, free face painting, and colonial-era activities. Visitors may also browse the works of artisans and exhibitors, enjoy hay rides, go on a guided hike of the reserve led by a Delaware State Forester, and check out Native American demonstrations. Local food vendors will also be onsite to provide a variety of food and snacks for purchase.

The festival brings together local businesses, non-profits and government agencies in one place to celebrate the cultural and natural heritage of the Delaware Bay. On average, the festival brings between 800 to 1,500 visitors from the central Delaware community and beyond.

Among the highlights for the special anniversary this year will be the celebration of the opening of a new pavilion, parking lot, and a “mobi mat” at the reserve’s canoe launch, to enable full access.

For more information on the Blackbird Creek Fall Festival, contact Maggie Pletta, Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, 302-739-6377 or visit http://de.gov/blackbirdfestival.