Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
New exhibits at the
Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum
to be showcased at annual
Maritime Heritage Festival
REHOBOTH BEACH (July 11, 2016) – Delaware Seashore State Park will host the 6th annual Maritime Heritage Festival at the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum from noon through 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 17. During the festival, families can 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 that 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 toward refurbishing the existing flag tower, restoring the 1914 Stieff piano and purchasing a custom-made, reproduction of a Life-Saving Service beach cart.
The highlight of the festival will be the Breeches Buoy Rescue Demonstration, performed by park staff and active-duty Coast Guardsmen. They will fire a historic “Lyle Gun,” a line-throwing cannon used to fire a projectile attached to a rope to a boat or victim in distress. Lyle guns, used as the preferred rescue method of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, helped save countless lives from the late 19th century all the way until 1952.
The celebration will also feature guest speakers from DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation’s Cultural Resources office, the U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association, and Scott Ernst Custom Woodworks to discuss how the grant funds were used to complete the projects.
In addition to showcasing the new museum exhibits, there will be plenty of entertainment for all ages, including storyteller and musician Matthew Dodd, who will return to perform “Songs and Stories of Old Sailing Days” while dressed in sailor garb, and a show of historic sea shanties and stories sure to entertain kids of all ages.
Between shows, visitors can check out displays and family-friendly activities from local museums, historical societies and maritime organizations. 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, including crab cake sandwiches, fish tacos, and lobster rolls from the Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen from SoDel Concepts.
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 the festival is free. For more information, contact the Indian River Life-Saving Station at Delaware Seashore State Park, at 302-227-6991.
Vol. 46, No. 253