Free seafood festival, live music and family fun in Leipsic.
The quiet, almost 300-year-old town of Leipsic is about to come alive with activities, music and, of course, lots of fresh seafood to savor at the Oyster Festival Saturday, Oct. 12.
The festival begins at noon and goes until 5 p.m. at Mae F. Northwood Park, Second Avenue between Chestnut and Walnut Streets, and in the fire hall.
This is the first year that the festival will be taking place at the new park, also known as Maise’s Field of Dreams.
At noon, Gov. John Carney and Leipsic Mayor Craig Pugh will dedicate the park to Mae F. Northwood, a lifelong resident who was highly active in the community and hoped to transform some of her family’s land into a public space for the town.
Northwood’s family matched dollar for dollar what the town raised to purchase the three acres, said Deborah McKeever, organizer of the Oyster Festival and member of town council.
“That was her dream to make that happen,” McKeever said.
Northwood’s daughters Donna Ortelli and Sherry Nelson will attend the ceremony.
Admission is free, and local vendors will be selling everything from Delaware Bay oysters to fried fish to burgers and hot dogs.
These vendors and the overall festival helps highlight the importance of the waterfront in Leipsic, McKeever said.
“Leipsic is one of the last working waterfronts in the entire state of Delaware,” she said. “It’s an important industry, and the watermen in these small towns make a huge economic contribution to the state.”
Kids can come explore the fire trucks at the Leipsic Firehouse, participate in face painting or marvel at Miss Maggie, a historic oyster schooner that will be bobbing dockside near Sambo’s Tavern.
REUNION, an eight piece classic rock ’n’ soul band with roots in Kent County, will perform at 1 p.m. in Northwood Park. It’s recommended that community members bring their own chair to enjoy the live music. Free parking is available along the side streets and at the fire hall.
The third annual festival is a town function sponsored by Delaware Tourism, the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean & Environment and the Burrows family of Sambo’s Tavern.
Proceeds go toward the Leipsic Building Renovation Fund, which funds town projects like turning the old school house into a museum.