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CONTACT: Elaine Brenchley, First State Heritage Park, 302-739-9194,, or Necia Beck, Delaware State Parks, 302-739-9175,

First State Heritage Park offers weekend-long Labor Day activities

DOVER (Aug. 21, 2013) – First State Heritage Park will feature close-to-home, end-of-summer fun this Labor Day weekend. Visitors of all ages can start the holiday with a Friday evening lantern tour and enjoy more First State Heritage Park activities on Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday.

Friday, Aug. 30, 8:30 p.m. – Lantern Tour of the Dover Green
There is history, humor, and sorrow in the stories of real people from Delaware’s past. Visitors will hear tales of an infamous resident of Dover’s jail, devastating fires, poisonings and tragic love. Reservations may be made by calling 302-739-9194. Tour begins at the John Bell House on The Green. Admission is $5 per person. 

Saturday, Aug. 31, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 1, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
These sites are open: First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Biggs Museum of American Art, the Old State House, John Bell House and Johnson Victrola Museum. Admission to all sites is free.

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Tours begin hourly)
Tales of Slavery and Freedom Walking Tour
Delaware had complicated positions regarding freedom and slavery and an important role as a border state during the Civil War. Visitors will hear about African-American Richard Allen and his connections to the Golden Fleece Tavern and find out how a brave group of runaway slaves known as the Dover Eight made a daring escape from the Dover jail. Tour begins at the John Bell House on The Green. Admission is free.

Labor Day Monday, Sept. 2, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All activities are free.

·         Guided Tours of Legislative Hall-Delaware’s Capitol, 411 Legislative Avenue

·         John Bell House on The Green
This restored building is the oldest wooden structure in Dover.

·         Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New Street
“The Star Spangled Banner: Then and Now”
Guided tours examine the development of the Star Spangled Banner through time, with original musical recordings played on authentic talking machines.

·         The Old State House on The Green
“Laboring to Build the Capitol”
Guided tours will examine the creation of the historic capitol in1791 by two separate governments and various craftsmen.

·         Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street
Houses a permanent collection of American fine and decorative arts and changing exhibitions.

·         Stories of The Green Walking Tour, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Tours begin hourly)
For 300 years, The Green has been the center of commerce, politics, and civic life in Dover. Guided walks through the historic district reveal the people and events that left their mark on Dover’s history. Tour begins at the John Bell House on The Green. Admission is free.

·         First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North
“Imagine That,” 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
Visitors will explore the current exhibition, Dealing in Symbols: Profundity in the Human Figure with guided interpretation of the life and work of esteemed Delaware Artist, Charles Parks. Visitors can create an interactive sculpture as an element of this tour, and should bring a camera to capture the work of art.

The First State Heritage Park is Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777.

The park is a partnership of state agencies under the leadership of Delaware State Parks, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector.

Vol. 43, No. 319
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