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Spring in Delaware

Delaware comes alive with flowers, music, art and a wide variety of celebrations with the dawn of spring.

Festivals throughout the First State herald the arrival of warm weather and high spirits, and groups that visit the state in April and May will find a number of inventive ways to get to know local history, culture and nature.

The Dover Days Festival highlights the Colonial history of Dover, and the small historic town of Lewes celebrates the springtime with a citywide tulip festival. One-day events take place in Hockessin, home of the Mount Cuba Wildflower Celebration, and Milford, where the Bud and Bug Festival centers on the area’s love of ladybugs. And in Wilmington, the OperaDelaware Festival features performances of powerful classic works by the area’s professional opera singers.

Lewes Tulip Festival

A historic town situated on the Delaware Bay in the southern part of the state, Lewes blossoms each spring for the Lewes Tulip Festival, a three-day celebration of the changing seasons that features more than 10,000 tulips blossoming throughout downtown.

The Lewes Chamber of Commerce and a variety of local organizations work to put on the festival, which spans two weekends in an attempt to capture tulips in peak bloom. Volunteers plant tulips at landmarks all over town, and visitors can take a walking tour to see the flowers at historic sites. The Tulips Trolley offers another way to experience the flowers aboard a vintage trolley.

In addition to the flowers, the festival features a photography contest, traditional food and a variety of events and celebrations throughout Lewes. This year’s festival will take place April 7-16.

Mount Cuba Wildflower Celebration

Hockessin is a small town on the northern tip of Delaware, just west of Wilmington. It is home to the Mount Cuba Center, a botanical garden with a focus on native plants and ecosystems that comprises 50 acres of formal display gardens and more than 500 acres of natural lands.

Each April, the center hosts the Mount Cuba Wildflower Celebration. This one-day event features a variety of demonstrations, workshops and performances focused on the natural environment of northern Delaware. Highlights include displays of natural landscapes, plant giveaways, educational talks and a raptor show that showcases birds of prey from around the area.

The celebration also includes a number of special activities for young visitors. A garden scavenger hunt introduces children to some of the many plants on display, and the butterfly parade allows them to dress up in butterfly costumes and parade around the gardens with other participants.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.